Chainflow Drag Chain Conveyors

The hygienic, heavy-duty, totally enclosed, dust-free Chainflow tubular chain drag conveyor economically conveys dry, hot or cold, powders and granules, particularly fragile materials and a wide variety of chemicals and plastics.

Spiroflow’s Chainflow tubular chain drag conveyor is the newest mechanical conveying option in our extensive line of mechanical conveyors designed for the dry bulk solids and powder processing industry. The hygienic, heavy-duty, totally enclosed, dust-free Chainflow tubular chain drag conveyor economically conveys dry, hot (up to 180°F/82°C) or cold, powders and granules, particularly fragile materials such as cereals, nuts, coffee beans, food ingredients, pet food, animal feed, and a wide variety of chemicals and plastics. Processors can easily convey or batch ingredients with crevice free material contact chain with flexibility in layout options. They successfully convey any number of non-cohesive dry powders and granules.

Features

  • Heavy-duty conveying of high loads 24/7/365
  • Maximum layout versatility with multiple inlets, multiple outlets & complex 3-plane circuits
  • Minimize material breakage & maintain consistent mixtures with gentle handling
  • Maintain dust and contamination-free handling via the totally enclosed conveyor design
  • Maximize chain, disc & tube life and minimize operator maintenance with built-in automatic chain tensioning
  • HOW IT WORKS & BENEFITS
  • APPLICATION SUITABILITY
  • CONFIGURATIONS
  • MODELS & SPECIFICATIONS
  • COMPONENTS & OPTIONS
  • CAPACITY & SELECTION
  • TYPICAL MATERIALS

HOW IT WORKS & BENEFITS

HOW IT WORKS

Spiroflow’s Chainflow tubular chain drag conveyor is the newest mechanical conveying option in our extensive line of mechanical conveyors designed for the dry bulk solids and powder processing industry. The hygienic, heavy-duty, totally enclosed, dust-free Chainflow tubular chain drag conveyor economically conveys dry, hot (up to 180°F/82°C) or cold, powders and granules, particularly fragile materials such as cereals, nuts, coffee beans, food ingredients, pet food, animal feed, and a wide variety of chemicals and plastics. Processors can easily convey or batch ingredients with crevice free material contact chain with flexibility in layout options. They successfully convey any number of non-cohesive dry powders and granules.

BENEFITS

FAST & EFFICIENT CONVEYING  Achieve fast, efficient conveying with capacities up to 370 ft3/hr. (10.5m3/hr.).

TOTALLY ENCLOSED, DUST-FREE, CONTAMINATION-FREE HANDLING  All conveying takes place in a totally sealed tubular system which ensures the dust-free transfer of material.

GENTLE PRODUCT HANDLING & MAINTAINING BLENDS  Material is fed into the pockets formed between the discs within the conveying tube. The chain and discs gently move through the enclosed circuit pulling the material along until it reaches the outlet.  This type of gentle conveying action minimizes product degradation and also maintains blends.

OPERATE IN MULTIPLE PLANES  Tubular drag conveyors are the only conveyors that can operate in three (3) planes.  This layout flexibility enables our engineers to design complex circuits which eliminates transfer points while using a single drive.

MULTIPLE INLETS & OUTLETS  The conveyor can accommodate applications with multiple outlets so that one conveyor can deliver material to multiple points. Multiple inlets are possible as long as only one is operational at a time.

DRY, MOIST OR WET MATERIALS  Tubular drag conveyors can transfer hot, cold, wet, dry, hygroscopic or temperature sensitive materials.

OPERATIONAL FLEXIBILITY  Convey over long distances with maximum straight-line lengths of up to 250 ft (76m) per conveyor and link multiple conveyors for longer distances.  Enjoy the operational flexibility to stop and start under load, and run empty with most materials.  You can also flood or meter feed the conveyor based on your product flow characteristics.  Maximize your use with a mobile design available for multiple in-plant applications or freight car and truck loading.

LONG CHAIN LIFE  All chain used in our chain assembly is constructed from 304 or 316 stainless steel with one-piece USDA accepted polyurethane molded discs secured at fixed intervals.  With proper tensioning, end users can expect a very long chain life and minimal chain replacement expenditures.

MINIMAL MAINTENANCE  Our patented automatic chain tensioning system maintains ideal tension on the chain which minimizes operator maintenance and also ensures maximum chain life.

24/7/365 RELIABILITY  As a worldwide industry leader in mechanical conveying, Spiroflow is unique in that we offer three types of tubular drag conveyors – Cableflow cable drag conveyors as well as Chainflow and Dynaflow drag chain conveyors.   Our engineers will carefully assess your application needs so that you can count on your conveyor to run 24/7/365.

LOW ENERGY CONSUMPTION  No matter how great the volume, tubular drag conveyors are very energy efficient especially when compared to pneumatic conveying systems.  Users benefit by their minimal power requirements and associated energy savings.

NO FILTERS OR CYCLONES  With tubular drag conveyors, no additional air is added to convey material so there is no excess air at the outlet to filter for dust.  Any material that is not ejected at the outlet is simply carried around the enclosed system until it is ejected at the next outlet.

APPLICATION SUITABILITY

Application Suitability
PriceMid-range capital cost
Layout Constraints
(Single Conveyor)
Maximum total length 500 ft (152m) including return leg
250 ft out & 250 ft return (76m out & 76m return)
Longer distances require multiple units feeding each other
MaintenancePeriodic only
Very low maintenance
Energy ConsumptionMedium energy consumption - layout dependant
Dust Control/Air DisplacementMechanically dust tight, enclosed loop system
No systems filters required
Residual MaterialLow deposits
DegradationGentle conveying especially suited for fragile products (cereals, nuts, coffee beans, etc.)
Fragile ProductsIdeal for fragile materials
Maintaining BlendsIdeal for maintaining blends
Hygroscopic MaterialsApplication dependent
Conveyor must be empty on startup
Moist MaterialsApplication dependent
Conveyor must be empty on startup
Cohesive MaterialsRecommend material test
Hot MaterialsGood
Handles material temps up to 180°F (82°C)
SludgeRecommend material test
SlurriesRecommend material test
Fine ParticlesGood on fine non-smearing powders/granules
Ideal for cereals, nuts, coffee beans, food ingredients, pet food, animal feed, a wide variety of chemicals, plastics & more
Running EmptyCan be run empty for extended periods
Starting & StoppingCan be started & stopped under load
ConfigurationsMid-range capital cost

CONFIGURATIONS

Because tubular drag conveyors can operate in three (3) planes there is an endless number of layout options.  Our engineers will evaluate your application requirements and site restrictions to determine the optimal layout. Typical circuits include the layouts below, however, this is by no means a complete list.

Cableflow Cable Drag Conveyor Typical Circuits

 

Check out our Conveyor Comparison Chart

This document compares our conveyor offerings based on application suitability, configurations, specifications, options & cleanability. Our engineers will assess your application needs & recommend the optimal conveyor system.

MODELS & SPECIFICATIONS

Our Chainflow Drag Chain conveyor is offered in a 4” (100cm) size.  Our engineers will access your application needs and recommend the optimal configuration and options.

ModelTube SizeCapacity* Up To
CH44" / 100mm6.2 ft3/min/ 0.18m3/min

* Throughput rates vary depending on the bulk density and flow characteristics as well as the layout of the conveyor.

Specifications

Standard Construction & Components

  • Tubes: 304 Stainless Steel
  • Chain: 304 Stainless Steel
  • Discs: UHMWPE
  • Drive assembly
  • Automatic chain tensioner
  • Sweeps at standard 90° angles
  • Material feed inlet
  • Material discharge outlet
  • See OPTIONS for additional available options.

Electrical Requirements

  • 3 -7.5 hp (2.2 - 5.6 kW) Motor
  • The motor is sized to each application.

Pneumatic Requirements

  • 60-80 psi

Inlets, Outlets & Feeding

  • Multiple inlets & outlets are allowed.
  • Material can be metered or flood fed. This is product dependent.
  • Inlets can be fitted with baffles, lids, hoppers or agitators.
  • Variable conveying rates. Custom designs are available.

COMPONENTS & OPTIONS

Spiroflow’s Chainflow tubular drag chain conveyor is designed to achieve gentle handling and low material degradation.   A series of straight and curved tubes coupled to stainless steel housings form a circuit where the product can enter and exit through tube mounted chutes.

Conveying is achieved when material enters the space between discs molded to an endless chain that is contained within the circuit.  The chain and discs are dragged through the circuit by a driven sprocket at one end.  Additional sprockets can be added to the circuit to provide frictionless direction changes and reduce the load on the system.  Continuous tension is applied to the chain via a patented pneumatically actuated tensioning assembly mounted in the 180° idler assembly included with the system.

Standard Components
Conveyor TubingStraight Tube Sections
Micro-welded 304 stainless steel tubes make up the layout in accordance with a general arrangement drawing.
Tubes can be upgraded to 316 stainless steel.
Tube compression couplings join adjacent sections as required.

Couplings
Galvanized couplings are placed every 20 ft (6m) and at every housing, valve, and bend/sweep.
Couplings can be upgraded to stainless steel.
Disc & Chain AssemblyDisc & Chain Assembly includes:
  • Ø10mm 304 stainless steel chain with UHMW discs molded 5 1/8” (130mm) centers
  • A 2-piece end link is used to make an endless chain (130mm) centers
Drive Housing AssemblyThe Drive Housing Assembly is a combination drive and take-up assembly designed to operate the conveyor chain at a constant velocity. The components include:

  • A stainless steel fabricated housing
  • Cover plate on the top face
  • Food grade natural gum rubber gaskets
  • Conveyor tube flared ends for entry and exit into the housing
  • Drive shaft
  • Gearbox mounting flange with packing seal
  • Toothed sprocket with chain guides
  • Sprocket mounting hub with key and a keeper plate
Conveyor Drive MotorA 3 – 7.5 hp (2.2 – 5.6 kW) motor is selected based on application requirements.
Optional explosion proof drive motors are available.
180° Idler Housing
& Patented Auto Tensioning Device
A 180° idler housing & automatic tensioning device is included as part of the base conveyor.
180° Idler Housing Assembly includes:


  • A stainless steel fabricated housing
  • Cover plate on the bottom face
  • Food grade natural gum rubber gaskets
  • Conveyor tube flared ends for entry and exit into the housing
  • The idler shaft, bearing and seal is assembled in a machined aluminum housing
  • Sprocket with guides
  • Sprocket mounting hub with key and a keeper plate
  • Clean out chute with a stub to connect to dust extraction/vacuum

    Automatic Tensioning Assembly (US Patent 7,798,313)
    Spiroflow’s patented automatic tensioner applies a constant pre-load to the conveyor’s chain and disc assembly and compensates for the natural change in length of the chain during its life cycle.
    A pneumatic actuator anchored at one end applies a linear force to the free moving Chainflow housing mounted on 2 linear bearings. A manually adjustable precision filter regulator is employed to ensure that there is never too much pressure applied to the actuator and this limits the linear force (tension) applied to the conveyor.
    The pneumatic circuit prevents the total loss of linear force and tension if the air supply is interrupted.

    Includes:
    • Mounting hardware
    • Pneumatic Actuator with check valve
    • Precision Regulator and lockout valve
    • Pneumatic hardware and airline
Gravity Inlet ChuteA gravity inlet chute is included in the base model conveyor. Optional tube mounted inlets are available. See optional components.
Gravity Discharge ChuteA gravity discharge chute is included in the base model conveyor. Optional tube mounted outlets are available. See optional components.
Option Components
90° Corner Housing Assembly90° Corner Housing Assemblies can be included as necessary for the end user’s application requirements & layout.

90° Corner Housing Assembly includes:
  • A sheet metal fabricated housing
  • Cover plate on one face
  • Food grade natural gum rubber gaskets
  • Conveyor tube flared ends for entry and exit into the housing
  • Floor support bracket
  • Idler shaft, bearing and seal assembled in a machined aluminum housing
  • Toothed sprocket with chain guides
  • Sprocket mounting hub with key
CouplingsCouplings can be upgraded from the standard galvanized steel to stainless steel. These couplings are placed every 20 ft/ 6m and at every housing, valve, and bend/sweep. Couplings can be upgraded to stainless steel.
Clear Inspection PortA clear inspection port is a helpful component to most conveyor layouts.
The inspection port is 18” (46cm) long with a 10” (25cm) viewing length. The tube is constructed of clear polycarbonate with carbon steel (mild steel) or stainless steel tube joiners. It is located in the conveying circuit to allow visual access to the system.
Hinged Corner Housing Access CoverA hinged corner housing access cover is available with a compression cam latch.
It includes:
  • NEMA 4 or Atex safety switch
  • Mounting brackets
XP Safety SwitchAn XP rated safety switch is available for the hinged cover (NEMA 7) UK equivalent: Atex version
High Temperature Chain AssemblyA high-temperature chain assembly utilizing Hytrel discs is available for materials up to 300°F/ 149°C.
90° Tube BendsTube bends are utilized based on the end user’s layout requirements and available in 15°, 30°, 45°, 60° or 90° angles. Our engineers will recommend the optimal layout for your application needs and site constraints.
The bend radius for a 4”/ 100mm Chainflow conveyor is 48”/ 122cm.
Tube Mounted InletA tube mounted inlet with adjustable baffles can be mounted in the conveying circuit. Multiple inlets can be used in the circuit.
Inlet LidAn inlet lid with a spigot includes a square weldmesh in the spigot to prevent an operator from access moving parts. It also includes high flow exhaust.
Tube Mounted OutletA tube mounted outlet can be mounted in the conveying circuit and multiple outlets can be used in the circuit. The outlet is always open.
Transition ChuteA transition chute is a rectangle to round transition chute with 60° walls and is available in 3 sizes: Ø6”/ 15cm, Ø8”/ 20cm), or Ø10”/ 25cm.
HopperA 3 ft3/ .08m3 hopper can be included and is flanged to suit the conveyor inlet.
It includes four (4) floor-mounted height adjustable feet for leveling.
Alternatively, Spiroflow offers a comprehensive range of bag dump stations or bulk bag unloaders (with or without integral dust extraction or a connection to a central dust extraction system) to facilitate the dust-free loading of material into the conveyor. We can recommend additional equipment to suit your specific requirements.
Hopper LidA hopper can be equipped with a lid that includes a spigot and dust port with dust sock and worm gear clamp.
Dust HoodA dust hood can be added to the hopper. The bolt-in-place dust hood has a clear strip curtain with vertical sides and a back wall. It includes a 6” (15cm) spigot to connect to your dust extraction system.
Electric VibratorAn electric vibrator can be mounted to the hopper to assist in material flow.
Pneumatic VibratorA pneumatic vibrator can be mounted to the hopper to assist material flow.
It includes a manual on/off pneumatic switch and filter regulator with air fittings.
(Automatic operation can be achieved by replacing the manual pneumatic valve with an electric solenoid valve and integrating it into a control panel.)
Hopper AgitatorA hopper agitator assembly can be installed between the hopper and the conveyor inlet.
It includes:
  • Sheet Metal Body
  • Shaft with Paddles
  • Seal Block
  • Gear Motor 1/3 hp / .25 kW Motor
Level SensorLevel sensors are available for a variety of area classifications.
Air PurgeAn air purge blows material off of the chain & disc assembly as it moves through the outlet housing. This option is not available for the tube valve.
Clean Out DiscAn oversized clean-out disc is available to assist in cleaning the conveyor.
It includes:
• Urethane Disc
• A mounting disc made from UHMWPE & stainless steel hardware attaches the clean-out disc to the chain.
Tube Mounted Outlet ValveA pneumatically actuated tube mounted outlet valve is available.
It includes:
  • Stainless Steel Housing
  • Rotating Tube with cut out for material exit
  • Gear from Delrin material
  • Pneumatic Actuator
  • Tube Bearing from UHMWPE
  • Solenoid Valve 24VDC Coil
  • Pneumatic Hardware
Tube Valve Transition ChuteA transition chute is a rectangle to round transition chute with 60° walls and is available in 3 sizes: Ø6”/ Ø 15cm, Ø8”/ Ø 20cm, or Ø10”/ Ø25cm.
Rotation SensorA rotation sensor assembly is located on conveyor idler shaft to indicate that the system is operating. This requires integration with controls. It includes:
  • Motion pickup flag
  • Sensor mounting bracket and integral guard with access cover
  • Inductive proximity sensor for safe area application (non-hazardous)
Grounding Lug SystemStatic grounding (earthing) is available. Grounding wire and wire connectors are supplied to attach component parts of the system. All connections are terminated at the grounding lug for the end user to attach to the ground.
ControlsComplete controls are available with or without a VFD.

CAPACITY & SELECTION

Chainflow Tubular Drag Conveyors can operate at rates up to 100 ft/min (30m/min) depending on material characteristics & layout. Capacities are typically up to 6.2 ft3/min (176 lpm)

The capacity charts below allow you to roughly estimate the size of the conveyor and the speed based on the throughput requirements in cubic feet/minute (cubic liters/min). The horizontal lines represent the velocity at which your product will pass through the conveyor. The vertical lines indicate the volumetric throughput rate in liters per minute. The diagonal lines are the sizes of the conveyors available.

But don’t think you have to figure out which conveyor will work best for your application.  Our sales engineers can do that for you!

How to Use the Capacity Charts

  • Based on your material’s bulk density, calculate the required conveying rate in feet/minute or liters/minute. Locate the amount required on the horizontal scale.
  • Move up the vertical line and note where it intersects with one or more diagonal lines. Each intersection point indicates a possible conveyor size.
  • From each intersection point, move left horizontally all the way to the vertical scale, indicating the conveyor speed.

There are many factors that enter into the tubular conveyor selection process. Beyond the mechanical selection described above, we carefully consider the physical characteristics of the material to be conveyed and the equipment duty cycle.

Tubular Drag Conveyor Selection Guidelines

  • The Chainflow conveyor can operate at speeds up to 100 ft/min (30m/min).
  • It is generally advisable to apply a larger conveyor at a slower speed if your material has sluggish flow characteristics, is sticky, abrasive or if the equipment operational duty cycle is extensive.
  • Smaller conveyor sizes and faster speeds are usually selected when the material is free-flowing and non-abrasive and/or the equipment duty cycle is low.
  • Future capacity requirements should be considered. It may be prudent to install a larger conveyor now at a lower speed. You can increase the speed later to accommodate a higher capacity. This can be done with the use of a variable frequency drive or gearing change.
  • Surges and uneven feed conditions should be considered. Surge hoppers may provide more constant feeding and may enable the use of a smaller conveyor.

TYPICAL MATERIALS

Chainflow drag chain conveyors can gently transport a multitude of non-cohesive dry powders and granules.  Here is a list of materials generally considered for this type of conveyor.  Our engineers will carefully assess the properties of your material and likely perform a material test to ensure your drag chain conveyor performs exactly to your expectations.

Food

  • Almonds
  • Bacon Bits
  • Bakery Products
  • Baking Soda
  • Barley
  • Basil, Dried
  • Beans, Dried
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cashews
  • Cereal Flakes
  • Cereal Grains & Nuggets
  • Cereal Shapes
  • Cereals
  • Chickpeas
  • Chives, Dried
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa
  • Coffee Beads, Ground
  • Coffee Beans, Whole Bean
  • Coffee, Freeze Dried
  • Coffee, Instant
  • Coffee, Roasted
  • Coriander
  • Corn
  • Couscous
  • Cumin
  • Dill Seed
  • Eggs, Dehydrated
  • Fava Beans
  • Filberts
  • Flax Seed
  • Flour
  • Fruit, Dried
  • Garlic Powder, Dried
  • Ginger, Ground
  • Grains
  • Hops
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima Beans
  • Lysine Chunks
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Malt
  • Marjoram
  • Mint, Dried
  • Mustard Seed
  • Nutmeg
  • Nuts
  • Oats
  • Oats, Burned
  • Oilseeds
  • Oregano, Dried
  • Paprika
  • Parsley, Dried
  • Pasta
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Pepper Corns
  • Pepper
  • Pigment Powders
  • Pinto Beans
  • Pistachios
  • Rice
  • Rosemary, Dried
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Seeds
  • Sesame Seed
  • Snack Food Products
  • Snap Peas
  • Soy Beans
  • Spices
  • Split Peas
  • Tea
  • Thyme
  • Titanium Dioxide Powder
  • Tree Nuts
  • Vegetable Scraps
  • Vegetables, Dried
  • Vegetables, Frozen
  • Walnuts
  • Wheat

Agriculture

  • Atrazine
  • Bird Seed
  • Carrot Seed
  • Cottonseed
  • Cottonseed, Coated with Starch
  • Feather Meal
  • Fertilizer
  • Grass Seed
  • Lime
  • Limestone Pellets
  • Pesticides, Granular
  • Tobacco
  • Tomato Seed
  • Waste Cotton

Animal Feed

  • Animal Feed
  • Dog & Cat Food, Dry
  • Dried Feed Grade Egg Product
  • Feed Corn
  • Fish Food
  • Peanut Splits
  • Pet Food
  • Pet Food Chunks
  • Pet Food Kibble
  • Pet Food Pellets

Plastics & Rubber

  • Plastic Flake
  • Plastic Fluff
  • Plastic Pellets
  • Plastic Prills
  • Plastic Regrind
  • PVC, Pelletized Mix
  • PVC, Virgin
  • Rubber, Ground
  • Rubber, Including Fluff

Chemicals

  • Aluminum Oxide
  • Barium Metaborate Monohydrate
  • Boric Acid
  • Carbon Black Powder, Prills
  • Pigment Powder
  • Titanium Dioxide Powder
  • Urea Prills

Other

  • Acordis Cellulosic Fiber
  • Cat Litter
  • Cellulose Flock
  • Detergent Powder
  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • Fiberglass, Chopped
  • Glass Microspheres
  • Ground Paper Product
  • Kaolin Clay
  • Metal Powder
  • Paper, Shredded
  • Silica Sand
  • Sodium Bentonite
  • Water Softener Pellets
  • Wax Pastilles
  • Wood Chips
  • Wood Pellets