Benefits of a Flexible Screw Conveyor

Benefits of a Flexible Screw Conveyor

A flexible screw conveyor uses a metal helical screw within a tube to convey bulk materials. It’s commonly used for elevating material from bag dump stations, storage bins or other equipment to supply processing or packaging machines.

National Bulk Equipment offers flexible screw conveyor systems that are engineered and constructed based on your application’s performance requirements. This ensures dependable run time performance.

Easy to Operate

A flexible screw conveyor is a reliable and easy to operate piece of equipment. The system can handle a range of material types from dry to semi-solid bulk materials. It can work well in dusty or corrosive environments. These systems have the ability to be set up with multiple inlets and discharge points. These systems can also be installed with hangers to provide support and maintain alignment. These conveyors can work at a range of angles from 45 degrees to 90 degrees.

Before selecting this type of conveyor, the process and material characteristics should be carefully reviewed. Several factors must be taken into account, including: the type of material being transported; the particle size (powders, crystals, flakes, granules or pellets); the density; the rotational speed and the angle of inclination.

The equipment provider will determine the ideal pickup angle for the application based on the characteristics of the product. Typically, an angle of 45 degrees is chosen for conveying operations. This strikes a good balance between operating efficiency and space requirements.

The outer tube of the flexible screw conveyor is made of UHMW polyethylene and has excellent impact strength, abrasion resistance and temperature flexible screw conveyor resistance. The pipe can be bent with a radius tighter than six feet, allowing it to run around layout obstacles. This allows the conveyor to be positioned closer to the point of discharge and increase efficiency by eliminating air gaps.

Easy to Disassemble

One of the biggest benefits of a flexible screw conveyor is that it’s easy to disassemble and clean. It can be done on the floor, without using lifts or ladders. This is especially useful for wash-downs, clean-outs, auger changeovers, and regular maintenance.

To maintain a flexible screw conveyor, it is important to use a cleaning liquid to flush out the internal components. If a conveyor is not cleaned regularly, it may experience damage and loss of performance. This can also lead to poor quality final output.

Several factors must be considered when selecting the right flexible screw conveyor for a specific application. Some of the most important include the material’s bulk density, particle size, flowability, and layout. These details will influence the type of auger used, the conveyor’s design, and its overall performance.

There are different auger types that can be used with a flexible screw conveyor. Each design addresses the challenges presented by particular material characteristics. For instance, flat wire augers can be used to transport a variety of powders with bulk densities up to 60 lb/ft3. They are ideal for handling friable or fragile materials because they can reduce the amount of grinding between the tube and screw.

Similarly, flat spiral augers can be used to handle a variety of bulk densities and can move both light and heavy materials. However, these augers are not suitable for corrosive or abrasive materials.

Easy to Clean

A flexible screw conveyor is a great option for food production facilities that need to transport powdered materials over short distances. The simple operation of a helix rotating inside a tube minimizes maintenance costs and makes cleaning easy. It can also be easily installed over, under, and around existing equipment with minimal labor required for assembly.

The screw conveyor has an intake end that connects to a hopper or process equipment like a grinder, screener, crusher, mixer, or reactor. A U-shaped trough in the inlet section of the tube exposes a portion of the screw flight to the material flowing into the trough. A vacuum is created between the screw flight and the trough, which pulls the material upward to move it along the conveyor.

Its portable base frame allows the conveyor to be moved from one station to another with ease. It can also be maneuvered to accommodate different production requirements, reducing the need for multiple stationary conveyors. The conveyor is built with sanitary design in mind to minimize bacteria growth and prevent cross-contamination.

The screw conveyor has quick release couplings at all junctions, making it easy to disassemble for thorough washdowns. It can also tilt down to allow easier access for cleaning in hard-to-reach spots. It is ideal for conveying dry bulk material such as wheat, corn, rice, rapeseed, plastic particles, and more. It is not designed to transport slurries or other liquids that may cause erosion of the screw flights.

Easy to Maintain

While flexible screw conveyors are a reliable workhorse for moving a variety of materials, they do require specific care to ensure optimal equipment performance and longevity. This includes regularly cleaning the conveyor, addressing material clogging, and maximizing output. By lift companies identifying these problems and finding effective solutions, you can avoid costly delays.

One of the biggest maintenance concerns for these conveyors is the buildup of debris that causes the screw flight to touch the tube walls. This can result in wear and tear, abrasions and corrosion of the screw flight and outer pipe. To prevent this, the screw flight should be cleaned regularly with air or water to remove excess debris and lubrication. The conveyor can also be flushed with water or solvents without disassembly.

Another concern is that the conveyor can be contaminated with water, dirt and other materials if it is not properly sized for the application. This can lead to a loss of efficiency and lower productivity. An experienced conveyor manufacturer will perform a material flow analysis and ask the right questions to determine the correct size for your application.

This information will help to ensure that the auger is sized for the material bulk density, rotation speed and angle of inclination. The resulting calculation will provide an estimate of the capacity and power requirements for your system.

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