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Conveyors are mechanical assemblies that transport material with minimal effort and high efficiency. Traditional conveyor styles include belt, roller, bucket, overhead and screw or auger type designs. In this issue, we’ll focus on the screw/auger type and talk about some of the bearing products in TriStar’s portfolio that can improve long term service life without the need for lubrication or maintenance.
The screw conveyor can actually be traced back to approx. 234 BC when inventor and mathematician Archimedes came up with a helicoid screw in an inclined trough to pull water out of the bottom of a ship. It was soon adapted to give farmers a more efficient method for pulling water from rivers, up the bank and into a canal system to their fields.
In modern systems, the screw design and diameter, hardware material, shaft size, bearing support and drive systems are all critical. The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association supplies design criteria which are very specific for each media type, taking into consideration density, flowability, moisture potential, temperature and (in many cases) regulatory requirements to FDA and USDA.
TriStar has been involved in a number of interesting conveyor hanger bearing applications over the years. These include systems for moving materials like granulated sugar and hot ash at the bottom of an incinerator (using refuse to generate the electricity), as well as for moving everything from fruits and vegetables (in food processing/packaging plants) to systems for conveying phosphate, wood flour and even raw sewage.
Our work with OEMs has required us to consider many options for the hanger bearings and the shaft-end bearings. Hanger bearings are used to support the screw shaft in one or more locations and come in several styles and sizes depending on the OEM or aftermarket requirements.
TriStar has materials that can perform up to and over 500°F with no lubrication required, offering high load capacity, FDA/USDA certification, and compatibility with the hardware typically used. We also have lower temperature materials that offer extreme impact resistance with low friction, very good abrasion resistance and self-lubricating qualities, adding wear life to the bearings.
Whether you need engineering assistance or material selection support, our Ask the Experts feature provides a quick and easy way for you to upload your drawing and submit questions to our engineering team.