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    Engineering Chain - Elevator Types & Buckets

    Three types of bucket elevator types are Centrifugal Discharge, Continuous/ Gravity Discharge and Positive Discharge.

    1. Centrifugal Discharge Elevators

    This is the most common type of elevator in the field that uses centrifugal force to discharge the product. It is used to transport fine, free flowing materials with the maximum lump size of 2” and normally operates around 280-330 FPM. Typically utilizes a single strand chain with K-style with attachments every 2nd, 3rd or 4th and commonly uses AA, AC, or ACS style buckets.



    • Low startup cost
    • Uses less space
    • Large capacity range
    • High speed/ high cycle
    • Components are often marginally sized

    Centrifugal-Discharge Elevator Bucket Types

    2. Continuous/ Gravity Discharge Elevators

    This is commonly used to transport less free-flowing materials such as powers and materials composed of large lumps and can typically operate in the 80-165 FPM range. The buckets are spaced closed together without any gap and the flanged end of the preceding bucket acts as a chute that leads material to the discharge spout. Commonly utilizes a dual-strands chain setup with G attachments every 2nd or 3rd pitch which uses MF, HF or SC style buckets. Single strand options with K-attachments are also possible and normally use MF or HF style buckets.



    • The process does not damage material
    • Large capacity capability
    • Low speed/low cycle
    • High startup cost
    • Uses up more space
    • Difficult, expensive rebuild

    Continuous-Discharge Bucket Types

    3. Positive Discharge Elevators

    The least common elevator type that utilizes material that is sticky, light and fluffy or delicate load such as fruits. After the buckets pass over the head sprocket, they are inverted over the idler sprocket, therefore providing a positive discharge of material. It normally operates at slower speeds of about 100 FPM or less. It requires a dual strand configuration and uses MF, HF or SC style buckets.

    Positive-Discharge Bucket Types

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  • Tech Time

    Roller Chain and Sprockets Troubleshooting Guide - Pin Related Issues

    Problem: Breakage of pin.

    Possible Causes:

    • Excessively large shock loads.

    Tsubaki Solution:

    • Reduce shock loads by making other actions smoother such as start-up & stopping.
    • Exposed to a r repetitive load greater than fatigue limit
    • Remove excessive repetitive load.
    • Increased number of chains or size.
    • Corrosion.
    • Use casing for chain protection.
    • Clean and lubricate the chain periodically.


    Problem: Pin is rotating or starts sticking out.

    Possible Causes:

    • Load is excessive.
    • Not lubricated properly.

    Tsubaki Solution:

    • Replace chain with new chain.
    • Improve lubrication and loading conditions.
    • Chain operating with high load without appropriate lubrication causes friction between pin and bushing. This causes the pin to rotate and stick out, leading to chain breakage.
    • Chain should be replaced immediately.
    • Do not weld or reuse pins. If it is worn, check installation and ensure proper lubrication is done.


    Problem: Wear or rust occurs at the connecting pin in a lifting application or similar operation.

    Possible Causes:

    • Initial lubrication not done properly at installation.

    Tsubaki Solution:

    • Replace connecting link. If wear is excessive, replace chain as well. Ensure proper installation of connecting section for devices such as end brackets used for lifting applications, etc.
    • Lubrication

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