An apron feeder is a type of mechanical equipment used to extract and transport heavy, lumpy, or abrasive materials from a stockpile, bunker, or hopper to a processing or conveying system. It consists of a series of overlapping steel plates or pans that are connected by chains or rollers to form a continuous conveyor belt. The pans are typically made of high-strength steel and are designed to withstand heavy impact and wear.
Apron feeders are commonly used in mining, quarrying, and cement industries to transport materials such as ore, coal, rock, and cement clinker. They are particularly useful for handling materials that are too large or abrasive for other types of feeders, such as vibratory or belt feeders.
The operation of an apron feeder is simple: the pans move along the conveyor, picking up material from the hopper or stockpile and carrying it along the length of the feeder. As the pans reach the end of the feeder, the material is discharged onto a conveyor or into a processing system. The speed and capacity of the feeder can be adjusted to suit the specific needs of the application.
Apron feeders are preferred in applications where a high degree of reliability and durability is required. They are designed to operate in harsh conditions and can withstand high levels of impact, abrasion, and corrosion. Additionally, apron feeders can be customized to fit the specific needs of the application, such as the size and shape of the pans, the chain or roller design, and the feeding rate.