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What Is a Flexible Screw Conveyor?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A flexible screw conveyor moves materials up a tube with the use of a continually turning screw. This design, also known as a screw pump, has been used to move bulk materials and fluids for centuries; it is also known as an Archimedes screw. Such systems take up minimal space and can move products across varying distances, usually vertical or close to it for optimal efficiency. Technicians can control the speed of the screw to determine the rate of flow.

In this design, the screw rotates inside the tube, pulling material up on the blades and routing it out to a destination point. Hoppers or gates can be used to release bulk materials out of the top of the flexible screw conveyor. Technicians can leave the device in place to continually feed from a trough or drum to another location. They can also reposition it as needed, which can increase flexibility in a manufacturing environment or job site.

There are a number of advantages to this design. For vertical conveyance, it takes up limited space while still being able to handle a high volume of material. The screw speed can be adjusted to increase the rate, and the screw assembly can be made quite large to bring up more material with each turn. Such conveyors are also relatively gentle, and shouldn’t damage the materials carried inside. Powders, crushed rock, grain, and numerous other bulk materials can be transported inside a flexible screw conveyor.

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Such devices are also totally sealed because of the tube. This minimizes loss in transport and also keeps dust down, which can be a concern with some products and components. A flexible crew conveyor is relatively easy to clean, as the screw can turn in either direction to flush material, and cleaning solutions can be poured into the device. If necessary, the screw can slip out of the tube for a deeper cleaning.

Maintenance on a flexible screw conveyor is straightforward. The only moving part is the central screw, powered by an engine. If a problem arises, clearing it and getting the conveyor working again often requires only minimal work, especially if the device is kept in good condition. Companies with a limited need for one can rent or lease a conveyor instead of buying one, and could consider a service contract, where the owner provides technicians for a fee to maintain the screw. They can also train regular personnel in the safe operation of the flexible screw conveyor.

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