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: 

  • Horizontal
  • Incline
  • 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
  • Hastelloy
  • Inconel
  • Mild steel
  • Monel
  • 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.

For more information about spiral conveyors in general or our custom screw conveyor capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your equipment needs with one of our representatives, request a quote.

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