What Is a Flight Conveyor?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A flight conveyor pushes materials through a sealed trough. This equipment is used specifically with loose materials that may be wet, sticky, or clumpy, such as grain, unprocessed rock, or silage. Flight conveyors can be configured into a production line in a variety of ways. It may be possible to convert existing conveyor systems to this technology if necessary, especially if they already have a trough design with a similar footprint.

Flight conveyors can be configured into a production line in a variety of ways.
Flight conveyors can be configured into a production line in a variety of ways.

Inside the equipment, a set of chains is attached to paddles or similar tools. When the flight conveyor is turned on, the chains are pulled through the sealed trough, dragging the paddles along with them. This forces the material inside to move and scrapes down the sides in the process to limit material buildup. Technicians can adjust the speed for different materials, changing the rate of movement for the chains to accommodate sluggish or free-flowing contents.

The sealed trough offers a number of advantages. If companies handle dusty or highly loose materials, a flight conveyor can minimize the release of particles into the air. This can keep working environments cleaner in addition to reducing health problems caused by inhaling dust and chaff. Equipment should run more smoothly when it’s not fouled with debris from the conveyor belt, and the sealed nature also prevents contamination of the materials.

These conveyor systems can be used to move materials vertically as well as horizontally. They may have multiple outlets to dump into processing troughs, which can be useful for mass production. Some are on adjustable arms to allow technicians to move the conveyor line. Rubber seals can allow a sealed connection to storage bins and vats, minimizing loose material in the environment. The flight conveyor is also easy to clean by flushing with hot water and solvents and running the chains to circulate the fluid.

Generic versions may be available for lease or rental which can be helpful if a company needs a flight conveyor for a limited amount of time. Companies that plan to install them in production lines may be able to find basic models to suit their needs. They can also custom order products if they have a specific configuration in mind. This allows them to adjust shape, dimensions, and other characteristics to work with a given material and facility. Manufacturers may offer a consulting service to prospective clients to allow them to get advice on design and installation before proceeding with an order.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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