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Continuous Bucket Elevators for Heavy Materials

January 5, 2022

Some severe service applications call for the vertical transport of heavy or bulky materials. Servicing of these applications can be done with continuous bucket elevators that are specially designed to handle the increased load and wear and tear that heavier materials impose on the equipment – standard-duty equipment may simply not be up to the task. In this blog, we look at the design characteristics and construction features of continuous bucket elevators for heavy materials.

Heavy materials are generally considered to be those of a relative high bulk density (i.e., greater than 100 pounds per cubic foot) and mass (weight). They include:

  • Metal alloys and shapes
  • Heavy metal powders
  • Mining tailings
  • Heavy building and construction materials, including cement and concrete mixes, aggregates, etc.
  • Wet soils and clays


Moving heavy materials vertically with a continuous bucket elevator imposes a higher load on the equipment. These higher loads create additional stresses on the conveyor frame, drive assembly components, and buckets. In addition to the stresses imposed by the higher load, there are the impact stresses and wear that can result from feeding heavier materials into the conveyor buckets.

When moving heavier materials with a continuous bucket elevator, potential failure points that can occur are the following:

  • Bending or breakage of the elevator frame structural members and supports.
  • Stretching or breakage of drive chains and bucket mounts.
  • Breakage of drive wheels and pulleys.
  • Drive motor overload and burnout.
  • Deformation or breakage of buckets.

As noted above, for heavy material applications, standard-duty continuous bucket elevators are likely to be inadequate for the task. These elevators will lack the specialized equipment design, heavy-duty construction, and wear-resistant features that are needed to reliably service these types of applications.


TipTrak™ continuous bucket elevators designed for severe service applications involving heavy materials have the following features:

  • Heavy-duty frame construction.
  • Severe-duty rubber beltchain, reinforced with pre-stretched aircraft cables made from stainless steel.
  • Positive drive design – no teeth or sprockets on drive wheels, pulleys and chains to break.
  • Severe-duty rated motor and bearings.
  • High impact strength polymer buckets.

TipTrak™ elevators provide the ultimate in reliability, gentle handling and spillage-free operation. TipTrak™ elevators are available in a range of sizes, capacities, configurations, and construction styles. A wide variety of options are also available for customizing a TipTrak™ elevator to a specific application. For applications involving the handling of hazardous heavy materials, fully-sealed TipTrak™ Monocoque units provide full containment and explosion-proof operation. To find out more about TipTrak™ continuous elevators for heavy materials, please contact our sales team for further information.

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UniTrak Corporation Limited

299 Ward Street
Port Hope, ON
L1A 4A4 Canada


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