CONVEYER, a mechanism for conveying something, as loose material, from one place and depositing it at another place distinguished in mechanics from a carrier or elevator. Con veyers may be divided into four general classes: those that operate with endless chains or belts; those that travel along cableways or on a trussed support; those that operate by gravity; those that use a reciprocating surface to throw mate rial forward. These mechanisms have come into very extended use during the past 30 years, being employed in large excavating operations, and in handling coal, grain, cement, ore and similar material. Their manufacture is carried on by a score or more concerns in the United States. One of the simplest and earliest forms of conveyer consists of a pair of endless chains, connected at intervals with cross-pieces or scrapers. These are used to pile up coal for storage. At the centre of what is to be the pile of coal a pole is erected, and to the top of this one end of the conveyer is attached, while the other end is located a little above the ground level, near a steam engine or other motive power. As coal is dumped within the space the scrapers convey it upward toward the pole, and as the lower end of the conveyer may be moved to any point in the circle about the pole, coal dumped anywhere in the circle may be smoothed up and pushed toward the centre, until all lies in a symmetrical pile.
A common form of conveyer consists of a sheet iron trough through which travels a linked belt or chain device having cross strips or scoops. Any loose material dropped in the trough is carried along by the scoops to the point where the linked belt bends for its return.
The Hunt conveyer consists of a series of sheet iron buckets or small cars, hung between parallel lines of flat links, that constitute chains. The buckets swing on trunnions or pivots placed above the centre of gravity, so that they always remain upright, no matter what is the inclination or route of the chains, until they reach a dumping or upsetting mechanism. The links have wheels that run on little tracks, so that the whole constitutes a miniature railway train. The cars or buckets will carry either
liquid or dry material. This is called a noise less conveyer, because the provisions for lubrication do away with all objectionable noise, the latter being a special nuisance with con veyers of the scraper type. The driving wheel of the Hunt conveyer has a series of large pawls, that engage with pins on the links, and provide a slow, but steady and powerful motion. Capacity is obtained by the size of the buckets and not by speed.
Bucket conveyers, more or less similar to those just described, are commonly employed to supply large boiler plants with coal, and to carry away the ashes. In plants located by a waterway, such as that of the Arbuckle sugar refinery, the coal is hoisted in grub-buckets direct from the hold of a vessel, and dumped into the buckets of a conveyer, which trans ports it to a large pocket or storage room located above the boilers. Thence the coal is fed through automatic stokers to the boilers. Running along, below the boilers is another line of conveyer buckets that receive the ashes from the hoppers below the boilers and carry them out to a dumping place, which is often a large elevated hopper, from which the ash wagons can load by driving directly under it and opening a discharge gate. All large rail way terminal stations have a coaling-house arranged somewhat on the plan described. The coal is conveyed to overhead storage by the conveyers and is dropped direct into the tenders as they come below. At the plant of the Phila delphia and Reading railroad in Philadelphia monobar conveyers are employed, having a con veying capacity of 120 tons of coal an hour, while the set used to carry away the ashes dumped by the locomotives has a capacity of 20 tons an hour. Nearly all this capacity is needed at times, as the plant is sometimes called upon to load as many as 12 locomotives at once. The monobar conveyer referred to is of the scraper type, the scrapers being attached to a link-belt monobar chain, driven by equalising gears. Bearing blocks are introduced to reduce the noise.