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A grain conveyor is a type of material handling device that is designed primarily to move grains from one place to another. There are a few different types of grain conveyors, including helical, belt, and pneumatic. Helical grain conveyors consist of a screw blade inside a tube that carries grains upward as it rotates. These are sometimes referred to as grain augers. Pneumatic grain conveyors use air pressure to blow or suck grains into place, and belt conveyors are typically enclosed, and can make use of cleats to move grain up inclines. Grain conveyors can be used in many different circumstances as well, from loading trailers in the field to unloading hoppers and bins later on.
Farms that grow various grains typically work with very large volumes, so some method of quickly moving these products from one storage area to another is often necessary. The first place that grain encounters a conveyor is usually in the field, as combine harvesters often use these devices to load trailers. Most combine harvesters use a type of grain conveyor that is sometimes referred to as an auger, due to a helical screw component. This type of grain conveyor usually consists of an enclosed tube that contains a helical screw. The screw component runs the entire length of the tube, and when it turns grains are drawn upward and then discharged into a trailer.
Grain conveyor augers can also be used to load silos and bins, though a pneumatic system is sometimes used instead. A pneumatic grain conveyor uses air pressure instead of a mechanical screw, though it typically also consists of enclosed tubes. Positive pressure can be used to blow grain into place, or a vacuum can suck it up into the system and then deposit it into a silo or bin. Gravity feeds are often relied on to unload grain silos, though a third type of conveyor is sometimes used instead.
Belt grain conveyors are often used to unload silos and hoppers, though they are sometimes found in other applications as well. These conveyors typically consist of a belt that is encased in a square or rectangular tube so that the grain cannot escape during transport. Cleats or other components are sometimes used as well in order to use this type of conveyor on an incline, which can be useful when loading trailers for transport. This type of grain conveyor is often modular, so one unit can be inserted into a number of different silos, bins, and hoppers as needed.
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