The Wrights Dowson Group is a leading supplier of bulk handling equipment and accessories in the UK. Our product offering includes a wide range of screw conveyors created to your specifications in various industries, including waste, food and grain, animal feed, chemicals, recycling and more.

Screw conveyors are a vital part of many modern operations. They streamline the transport from one production station to the next. They can safely handle abrasive, hot, liquid and sticky materials.

Screw conveyors are a marvel of mechanical engineering and have been around for longer than you might think. In this article, we explore some of the screw conveyor’s history.

The History of the Screw Conveyor

The first screw conveyor was designed by Archimedes as early as the third century BC. There is, however, evidence that a similar device was used even earlier in ancient Egypt.

It was used to move water from ships in case of flooding and irrigate farmland. The device consisted only of a hollow cylinder with a centre shaft, around which a spiral was fixed. This first screw conveyor utilises the physics principle of the inclined plane.

This screw was turned either by manual labour, cattle or a windmill.

In the late 19th century, this basic design began to evolve. First, it was used to increase feed and grain production for a population experiencing rapid growth in America. At this stage, the screws could be operated with a motor.

Screw conveyors remain a part of feed mills even today. The machines fulfil a range of material handling requirements and are used in nearly all major industries.

The most common applications are in:

  • Food Processing
  • Pulp and Paper
  • Wood Products
  • Chemicals
  • Rubber and Plastics
  • Primary Metals
  • Environmental
  • Stone, Glass and Concrete
  • Animal Feed and Grain

Recent Advancements

With the discovery of abrasion-resistant alloy and stainless steel, screw conveyors have taken on even greater uses. They are now applicable to a broader range of industries where dangerous products need to be conveyed. Stainless steel housing and screws ensure that even abrasive material can be moved without wearing down the machinery with time.

Another recent improvement is the introduction of the shaftless screw conveyor. This involves a spiral without a central shaft and is ideal for materials of various sizes or wet and sticky products that otherwise tend to stick to the pipe.

The Wrights Dowson Group is at the forefront of Screw Conveyor advancements. Today, we supply various industries with screw conveyors specifically designed for their applications using 3D imaging and modern CAD software. So if you’re looking for a bespoke solution, get in touch with us today for technical support, questions and quotes.