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Structural Drag Chain Conveyor: Best Materials

What are the best materials for a structural drag chain conveyor? These conveyors are problem solvers in a pipeline. That’s our nickname for them and there’s a good reason for that. If there’s a material or product that won’t convey well in another type of conveyor, an ultra-heavy-duty structural drag chain conveyor built with schedule 40 pipe will likely get the job done.

At Spiroflow, we have more than 45 years of experience providing processors with the best conveying solution possible. We know how important your product is to your bottom line. Running the wrong type of material inside a conveyor can cause damage to the equipment and result in system downtime. That isn’t much of a concern with these conveyors.

Where do structural drag chain conveyors fit in a process?

You’re not locked into one type of layout with structural drag chain conveyors which are called Dynaflow® conveyors in our product line. These dust-free conveyors can operate in three planes which means processors have very flexible layout options. Our conveyors have a total circuit length of 400 ft (120 m). That’s 200 ft (60 m) out and 200 ft (60 m) on the return. Multiple conveyors can be linked together to cover longer distances.

These conveyors can have multiple inlets and outlets and can be metered or flood fed. And, of course, structural drag chain conveyors can operate seamlessly with bulk bag fillers, bulk bag dischargers, other conveyors, and other process equipment.

Ultra-heavy-duty Construction

What are they made of? Structural drag chain conveyors earn their label as ultra heavy-duty process equipment. The conveyors are built with schedule 40 steel pipe and steel chain fitted with UHMWPE or steel discs.

Speed & Capacity

Conveyor speeds will vary depending on the size of the pipe and material you are running. Conveying speeds can reach up to 50 ft/min (15 m/min) and capacities typically reach 10 ft3/min (0.28 m3/min). Operators always have the option to run the conveyor at slower speeds if there’s concern over product degradation.

Best Conveyed Materials

Drag chain conveyors operating within the confines of a pipe are the workhorses of the bulk material handling industry. They are almost a catchall in the conveying world. Here’s what I mean. Sludge-like materials won’t convey well in a flexible screw, cable drag, or an aero mechanical conveyors but they will convey nicely inside a structural drag chain conveyor. This is also the case with cohesive and abrasive materials. Basically, anything considered a heavy-duty material. I could list out all of the conveyable materials for you but there’s too many to mention in this blog post. Here’s a list of material characteristics that will likely work:

  • Dry
  • Fragile
  • Abrasive
  • Hygroscopic
  • Moist
  • Cohesive
  • Hot up to (420˚F/216˚C)
  • Sludge

There are some types of products that should stay out of these conveyors. Fine particles aren’t recommended and I recommend material testing for slurries. The construction of structural drag chain conveyors also doesn’t lend itself to sanitary applications. So, ideally, food products should be kept out of these conveyors. I should note that running a material test is important no matter what product you’re planning to convey.

The Value of a Material Test

If it seems like a structural drag chain conveyor might be useful in your application, call a trusted manufacturer and run a material test. This is an important step in the design process. Everyone involved wants the installation and execution of your project to be successful. Utilizing a test lab is a great way to make sure this happens.

Other Conveying Options

A structural drag chain conveyor is a serious investment. They are among the most expensive conveying options out there. In some cases, other conveyors can do the same job at a lower cost. A reliable manufacturer with expertise in many different mechanical conveying technologies can make a recommendation to you based on your application requirements.

Do you want more information?

Give us a call or send us an email if you have any questions. Our experts are happy to help you with your mechanical conveying, bulk bag filling and discharging, or control systems integration needs. Also make sure to check out our blog “What materials are best conveyed by Drag Chain Conveyors?”

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