NAPA – North Adriatic Ports Association

What Is An Elevator: Their Uses, Different Types, And How They Work

Many changes have occurred across sectors such as computers, software, and industries. This has contributed to dramatic progress across several industries. Elevators are one of the pieces of equipment that have undergone a few changes over the years. Today all that is required is to push a button or a switch to call a box made of metal that will transport you safely from 1 floor to the next. Today, elevators are a mandatory requirement for buildings that have more than 4 floors. For many people, elevators provide convenience, while making life a lot easier for physically handicapped people. In this article, we will cover what an elevator is, the way it works, and the different types. If you need cosmetic lift upgrades then please see Eze Lifts.

What Is A Lift Or Elevator?

Elevators are types of electric lifts that are used for vertically transporting people or goods between different floors in a building using either a silo or a bin. These lifts are activated with an electric motor that drives the counterweight-system cables. These cables activate the hoist or the pump-hydraulic fluid that raises a cylindrical-piston like a jack.

This equipment is used across a number of areas such as manufacturing, agriculture, commercial, residential and more. Elevators also come in different types according to the requirement. Lifts are also commonly used in multistory constructions, especially when wheelchair access or ramps are not practical.

How Does An Elevator Work?

The working principles of a lift or elevator are very similar to pulley systems. Pulley systems were once used for drawing water out of a well. The system includes a bucket, a wheel, and a rope. The bucket connects to the rope, that is passed through a wheel. This design made it much easier to draw water out of wells. Similarly, elevators use this same concept. But the primary difference between the systems, is that a pully system is manually operated, while elevators use sophisticated mechanisms to handle the load of the elevator.

Essentially, a lift is made up of a type of metal box that comes in various shapes that connects to an extremely tough and durable metal rope. This rope is passed through a type of sheave inside an engine room. The sheave is similar to the wheel used in pulley systems and is used to strongly clutch the rope. These systems are generally operated by motors. Once turned on, the switch can activate the elevator to make it go up, down, or stop.

Elevators are also made up of different parts and components including, an electric motor, speed control system, cabin, shaft, rails, doors (automatic and manual), buffers, a safety device, and a drive unit.

Elevator Types

Elevators and lifts come in different types including capsule lifts, building lifts, pneumatic elevators, hydraulic elevators, freight elevators, passenger lifts, residential elevators, cable-driven/ traction elevators, machine room-less elevators, and more.

  1. Hydraulic Elevator

Hydraulic elevators are driven by pistons that move inside a cylinder. These piston movements are generally achieved by pumping the hydraulic oil into the cylinder. This piston lifts the “lift cab”, while the hydraulic oil is controlled by the electrical valve.

  1. Pneumatic Elevator

Pneumatic elevators generally feature an external cylinder design that is completely self-supporting. These cylinders include modular sections that fit seamlessly into each other. The tube at the top is made out of steel materials that shut out the air with inlets and suction valves. A lift car runs inside the cylinder while the head unit is made up of turbines, controllers, and valves that are used to control the movements of the elevator.

  1. Traction Or Cable-Driven Elevator

Cable-driven or traction elevators are among the most common lifts or elevators. This equipment is made up of steel cables and hoisting ropes. The ropes run over the pulley that connects to a motor. These lifts are either gearless-traction or geared. With this elevator type, several hoisting cables and wires connect to the elevator car. These are covered with sheaves from one side, while the other side connects to the counterweight. The weight travels down and up on guide rails.