Resolving Chain Floor Bin Problems

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Chain floor bins are common tools for feeding materials with poor flow characteristics. Many operators are thus familiar with their operating principle: material gets loaded into the bin, and one or more chains drag the material toward an opening in the wall at the discharge end of the machine. There, material falls through the opening, often with the aid of a breaker bar.

These machines come with their share of problems, though. If the chains run directly on the floor, the metal-on-metal action decreases efficiency and wears through the floor. The chains carry material past the discharge, making a mess in the return tracks and the tail area. The chain drive system can also prove problematic because it’s typically powered by a single gearmotor dividing its torque over multiple chains. In other words, the engineer determined the total torque required to pull multiple chains through the material.  If one of those chains breaks, the gearmotor torque is now divided over fewer chains, possibly exceeding their load capacity. A cascading failure is about to occur.  Also, if the motor, gear reducer, or a bearing needs repair, you must halt operations.

More frustrating, though, is what happens at the discharge end of the machine. Because the chains move the entire pile, the material commonly packs against the end wall, where it bridges over the discharge opening. When this occurs, material also packs tighter and adds stress to the drive system.

To address this issue, you can enlarge the discharge opening, although this will increase the amount of material that can flow out of the bin at a given moment. However, this ultimately may not solve the original problem because you are still trying to force the entire moving pile through a limited opening.

Another solution is to remove the rear wall entirely and replace it with a full-height metering device like our drag-back chain. Our drag-back chain effectively meters the outflow of material by allowing a regulated height of material to flow under the device while dragging the upper portion of the pile away from the discharge area and tossing it back onto the pile. As a result, material cannot bridge and it does not pack in a way that increases stress on the drive system.

Watch a video of our drag back chain here.

Such a solution is expensive, though, so it’s often more sensible to replace the entire bin with a live-floor system that features screws or strokers instead of chains. This we also offer. We manufacture receiving and infeed bins in various styles to accommodate your preferred infeed methods, capacities, and output requirements. Our solutions include:

  • Live-floor trailer receiving bins with rear or side discharge
  • Live-floor receiving bins for bucket loaders with multiple screws
  • 20- and 40-foot open containers with push-pull stroker floors
  • 20-ft. quad-screw containers with center or end discharge

All our screw bins come equipped with individually driven screws for redundancy and high adjustability. Our stroker-floor options are hydraulically powered with easy-to-access hydraulic cylinders.

More information is available online. View the following brochures for more details:

Smart Containers Brochure

Live Bottom Bins Brochure

Trailer Receiving Bins Brochure