What Are Spiral Conveyors?
Spiral conveyors—also known as screw or worm conveyors—are used to transfer material across an inclined or flat plane. The amount of material transported is regulated by the size and power of the conveyor. They are often used in elevated conveyor lines and multilevel buildings.
How Do Spiral Conveyors Work?
Spiral conveyors utilize a rotating helical screw blade—i.e., flighting—to transport materials through a trough or tube component. The technology is based on the Archimedes screw, a device used to move water and other materials thousands of years ago.
Key Features of Spiral Conveyors
In addition to the standard components found in all spiral conveyors, some of the additional feature options available include:
- Trough liners
- Wear-resistant troughs
- Wear shoes
- Standard and special bearings
- Standard and special drives
- Ability to be made in sections
- Engineered to fit within existing components
- Ready to plug-in systems
- Custom fabricated troughs
- Variable pitch screws
Advantages of Spiral Conveyors
Compared to other material handling solutions, spiral conveyors offer a number of advantages. For example:
- They are versatile.
- They offer efficient mixing capabilities.
- They are available with bi-directional and reversible operation capabilities.
- They can be used with abrasive materials and in high temperatures.
- They come in flood-loaded designs that can regulate feed downstream.
- They move small to large lump materials.
- They are totally enclosed.
- They accommodate multiple inlets and discharges.
Spiral Conveyors vs. Case Lifts
Spiral conveyors are somewhat similar in function to case lifts. Both are designed to move products vertically within a facility rather than horizontally. However, there are many feature and function differences between the two that make them unique pieces of equipment. One of the main distinctions is that spiral conveyor’s transport loose bulk particles and powders, while case lifts transport cases, cartons, and other packaging containers. Spiral conveyors also use a more cutting-edged design that enables them to move loads with greater speed and reliability and require less maintenance, both of which can improve the productivity and profitability of a facility.
Applications for Spiral Conveyors
Typical applications for spiral conveyors include:
- Bulk material handling
- Machine tools
- Metal chip removal
- Off-road equipment
- Sludge handling
Styles of Spiral Conveyors
There are many types of spiral conveyors available, each of which offers different advantages and disadvantages that make it suitable for distinct applications. Some of the common styles produced are:
- Non-standard diameter
- Tapered OD
- Tapered shaft
- Variable pitch
Construction Materials for Spiral Conveyors
The screw component of spiral conveyors can be made from a variety of materials to suit specific material handling needs. Typical materials used include:
- Abrasion-resistant alloys
- Mild steel
- Nickel alloys
- Stainless steel
Reinke & Schomann: Your Spiral Conveyor Experts
Want to learn more about spiral conveyors? The experts at Reinke & Schomann, Inc. are here to help! Equipped with extensive experience engineering and manufacturing custom spiral conveyors for use in various industrial applications, we have the knowledge to answer any questions you may have about these material handling systems. Additionally, if you need a spiral conveyor for your facility, we’ve got you covered.
What Is a Sludge Conveyor
Sludge conveyors are adaptable equipment built to move materials that are high in water and low in solid content. They are capable of moving challenging materials through difficult environments, such as up and down inclines or around corners. Sludge conveyors are made up of a power source, a trough, and either rotating helical screw blades or a conveyor belt. They can be constructed in varying inclines and diameters from a range of materials, such as stainless steel, abrasion-resistant alloys, and more.
Sludge conveyors are used in applications throughout several industries, such as mining, wastewater treatment, bulk material handling, and food processing. There are two primary conveyor types that are used throughout these applications: belt conveyors and screw conveyors. Choosing the best type of conveyor typically depends on what materials your application involves and their consistency.
Belt Conveyors vs Screw Conveyors
When deciding between a belt conveyor and a screw conveyor, it is important to consider the application and the type of sludge being transported. While some applications are compatible with either type, there are some that require the use of screw conveyors.
For example, within the wastewater treatment industry, dewatered biosolids result in sludge that is 15-30% dried solid. For this type of sludge, either a belt conveyor or screw conveyor may be used. However, other wastewater treatment applications remove up to 95% of the biosolids’ water content, resulting in a dry product. In these instances, screw conveyors are best.
There are some key differences between these two types of sludge conveyors. For example, screw conveyors are completely enclosed. This provides an additional safety measure and also helps with odor control. Additionally, screw conveyors function vertically. Belt conveyors have more limited incline conveying capabilities but work well in long-distance applications.
Screw conveyors require fewer bearings than a belt conveyor and can be used in hopper live bottom applications. However, screw conveyors are not best when working with stringy materials, as they can rag on shafts or hanger bearings. They can also shear through your material, which may cause changes to the sludge, whereas belt conveyors move materials without mixing or disturbing them during transport.
Sludge Conveyors at Reinke & Schomann
Sludge conveyors are useful for transporting many types of materials and can be adapted to meet the unique needs of each application. Reinke & Schomann engineers and manufactures centerless, solid shaft mounted, and pipe or tube mounted screw conveyors in customizable styles and materials. To get started on your custom solution, request a quote today.
Metal Forming Steel Sculptures
Metal forming processes create structural metal elements from metal sheets and tubes by bending, deforming, or otherwise changing the shape of the workpiece. There are numerous different metal forming processes that are used to create parts across virtually every industry. This process is especially useful when fabricating metal sculptures. At Reinke & Schomann, our metal forming capabilities include custom metal fabricated stainless steel art sculptures.
Metal Fabrication of Stainless Steel Art Sculptures
At Reinke & Schomann, we are well-known for our metal craftsmanship of custom ribbon flights, conveyor systems, screw conveyor flights, and unique sculptural artwork. We have experience fabricating custom steel art sculptures for customers in the architectural industry. With our on-site plate rolling, press brake, welding, and high def plasma equipment, we can meet customer specifications and achieve tolerances of 0.125″ throughout. We can create large and complex stainless steel structures using the following processes:
Our fabrication capabilities include stainless steel sculptures up to 25’ feet high, 1/2’’ in thickness and 10,000 lbs in weight. We also perform sideload stress testing on all forms to ensure optimal quality and accuracy.
Steel Sculpture Fabrication at Reinke and Schomann
Since 1929, our team has been creating precision metal forms, structural components, and sculptures from raw metal. We specialize in creating custom metalworks that meet our clients’ design specifications. Each of our sculptures is formed to match each unique sculpture design file and can be completed and ready for shipment within an average turnaround time of 16 weeks. Located near Milwaukee in Jackson, Wisconsin, our 20,000 square-foot facilities is equipped with modern tools to manage your sculptural project from start to finish.
To learn more about our custom fabricated stainless steel art sculptures or our other metalworking capabilities, request a quote today for your next project.