Tips For Choosing Screw Conveyors For Different Applications

Tips For Choosing Screw Conveyors For Different Applications

For the handling of bulk materials, one of the most effective options for moving material up inclines or a long distances efficiently and easily is an auger system. Also known as screw conveyors, these components are the workhorses of the production line.

These systems can be used to bring in raw materials to batching and blending equipment, to move material between equipment and to move packaged materials to the crating and boxing areas.

To find the right screw or auger conveyor for any given application there are some important decisions that need to be made. Once there is a clear understanding of the capacity, speed, materials and specialized needs of the system, it is possible to custom design screw conveyors that are a perfect match for any material moving needs.

Enclosure Design

There are several different options in enclosures for this type of equipment. When moving material that does not need to be kept free from contaminants, open trough types of enclosures offer easy visibility into the system.

For safety or when moving materials up inclines, a perforated or punched metal sheet can be placed over the top of the trough. This prevents the material in the auger from being thrown out of the auger and also stops material from falling into the auger. The size and shape of the mesh can be customized to reflect the size and type of material that needs to be contained in the system or prevented from entering the system.

Finally, for food items, beverages, chemicals, pharmaceutical or other types of production where contaminants have to be prevented from entering the material in the screw conveyor, fully enclosed models are the best option.

Liquids and Non-Free Flowing Materials

Liquids or semi-liquid materials, which are known as fluidizable materials, can also be moved using screw conveyors. These augers are designed with larger diameters and shorter distance between the flights. The flights are the “blades” of the auger. Slower speeds, larger flights and shorter pitches, the distance between flights, will be critical to prevent fluidizable materials from flowing back up the screw conveyor.

Sticky materials can also be handled through these systems. This uses a different style of flight that allows space between the flight and the shaft. It is also possible to have a shaftless screw which creates movement with less contact for effective transport of sticky or interlocking materials.

For non-liquid materials the type of material, its abrasive properties and the risk of packing or interlocking will all be carefully considered in choosing the size of the system, the pitch and the flight. Experienced engineers will be able to accommodate for these factors in their design and manufacturing of an auger system that is ideal for the specific material.

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