Carolina CoverTech is a knowledgeable contract manufacturer that develops and manufactures products to protect, cover, contain, and enclose goods. We specialize in industrial sewing, product development, RF welding, and rigid to flexible conversions. Utilizing these services, we produce protective covers that are airtight, watertight, flexible, durable, and weather-resistant. Our products encompass medical devices, recreational vehicle covers, safety rescue equipment, aircraft covers, transfer chutes, and more.
Fabric transfer chutes are a vital component in material handling systems. In most material handling systems, metal chutes are used to transfer food, concrete, wood, etc. from one location to another. Fabric transfer chutes are then connected to these metal chutes when access is required to certain sections of the chute.
Access may be required for:
- Preventative maintenance
- Common clogging areas
- Security measures
Fabric is much more cost efficient to remove to check on the material (whereas metal would need to be removed, welded back, which is expensive and time consuming).
This guide will go over the features, considerations, and benefits of conveyor transfer chutes.
Overview of Fabric Transfer Chutes
In many industries, engineered transfer chutes help move bulk material from one conveyor to another. They can also redirect process flow from one station—such as a screw conveyor or feeder—to another. Although transfer chutes seem a relatively simple, low-cost component of material handling systems, they can become a costly source of delays if not properly used or maintained.
Typical transfer chute problems include:
- Heavy wear in the chute and/or belt
- Excess buildup and plugging
- Particle breakage
- Dust generation
In most cases, such problems result from a design flaw or using the chute differently from its intended use, such as handling a different particle material or higher tonnage. Fortunately, an expert consultant can help you understand the proper applications and guidelines for selecting the right transfer chute for your project.
Considerations for Transfer Chutes
It is far less costly to choose custom-engineered chutes than to deal with the consequences of a poorly designed or selected chute. Below are some practical considerations when choosing a transfer chute.
Since transfer chutes regulate material flow by funneling it to its next destination, operators should take care not to strain the chute unnecessarily. Consider the weight and volume being processed per hour, leaving plenty of extra capacity. While it is easy to reduce the flow through an installed chute, it is much more difficult to increase its capacity without causing damage and delays.
Other considerations related to throughput include discharge velocity and delivery. At the input end, the material handling system’s speed determines the material’s path of descent. However, at the output end, the chute’s size and shape determine how quickly the material is discharged.
Height or Drop Distance
Adding steps or ledges within the chute can effectively reduce the drop height. These ledges can accumulate excess material as it continues to fall, absorbing impact and minimizing wear within the chute.
Another factor that can affect drop distance is the shape of the rock box, a component at the bottom of the transfer chute that narrows the chute’s width and stabilizes flow rate. The rock box should be carefully designed and positioned to transfer material onto the center of the lower conveyor.
The material’s size distribution, density, and abrasiveness influence the likelihood of plugging and how quickly the chute’s interior will wear. Most manufacturers fit transfer chutes with liners to provide abrasion resistance and extend the chute’s lifespan.
Also measure the material’s tendency to break up or release dust. Not only does dust represent product loss, but it also requires regular cleaning. To manage dust emission, the chute design and engineering process should incorporate a settling zone and fit seals around the bottom conveyor.
Directions and Angles of the Conveyor
Most conveying systems are inline conveyors, which feature input and discharge belts in the same orientation. However, transfer chutes are sometimes required to change the direction of the material. In these cases, consider how the material will fall from the top conveyor. Oftentimes this means adding horizontal spacing within the chute and making the discharge belt wider than the input belt to reduce spillage.
Benefits of Transfer Chutes
Transfer chutes play a vital role in conveying systems. Here are the key benefits of using transfer chutes in your material handling application.
- Reduced fugitive dust emissions: Effective transfer chutes contain fugitive dust that could harm workers if inhaled. Loading the material at a steady, uniform rate through a soft or curved loading design significantly reduces dust emission. You can also use skirts, dust curtains, and internal wear liners in the loading area.
- Improved material handling and flow: Properly designed chutes increase production capabilities, reducing plugging, belt wear, spillage, noise, and dust. Center-depositing material onto the discharge belt also optimizes material flow in the proper direction.
- Lowered operating costs: Well-designed transfer chutes are a worthy long-term investment, saving your facility labor and maintenance expenses.
- Energy conservation: Because transfer chutes rely on gravity and physics rather than power, they can help lower energy consumption and costs at your facility.
Fabric Transfer Chutes from Carolina CoverTech
Transfer chutes are crucial components of a material handling system. When improperly chosen or designed, transfer chutes can cause costly delays and incur high maintenance fees. Thus, it’s important to source your transfer chutes from a reputable, knowledgeable manufacturer.
At Carolina CoverTech, we guarantee precision and high quality in the design and manufacture of our fabric transfer chutes. To fulfill your toughest material handling demands, our transfer chutes can be customized by shape, length, width, material, edge style, hem type, and other specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our fabric transfer chute products and other services.