Tube & Chain Conveyors

GERTECH Handling Systems designs, manufactures & supplies Tube & Chain conveyors. Tube & Chain conveyors are also known as Chain disc conveyors, Tube disc conveyors, Rope & Disc Conveyors, Grain pump systemsGrain pump loop systems, or Grain loop systems.

This single conveyor system can consist out of vertical- and horizontal conveying sections, all part of the same conveyor.
It replaces the bucket elevator and horizontal conveyors traditionally used to take the product to its destination. A single Tube & Chain conveyor (T & C Conveyor) can, therefore take care of the filling, as well as the reclaiming functions to- and from the silos.

Tube and Chain Inside
Tube & Chain Inside
Tueb&Chain Conveyor with Product Inlet
Tube & Chain Conveyor with Product Inlet
T&C Tensioner Corner
T & C Tensioner Corner
Tube & Chain Conveyor-Canola

Conveyed product is moved in plugs and this method of conveying is gentler on any type of grain compared to the more traditional methods of bucket elevators and chain conveyors. The conveyed product should fill around 65% of the available cavity between discs. Overfilling to maximum capacity puts too much strain on the conveyor components and is not recommended. Tests in existing grain handling systems have shown considerable reduced damage to grain kernels when a Tube & Chain system was used, compared to a traditional conveyor system.

Handling of traditionally difficult and abrasive products:

Gertech has successfully developed the Tube & Chain Conveyor to convey white granular sugar through horizontal and vertical conveyor sections. Conveyor and chain is mainly built out of stainless steel to conform to international food quality standards.

Some advantages:

    • Combining the functions of multiple conveyors into one conveyor;
    • Capacities between 5 and 340 t/hr ( based on maize @ 721 kg/m3);
    • Ideal for free-flowing and semi-free-flowing products;
    • Reduced product damage due to plug flow;
    • Long conveyor lengths;
    • Heavy industrial designs available;
    • Simpler truck off loading structures - therefore the overall project costs are considerably cheaper;
    • Tubes can be rotated twice (by 120 degrees each time) when worn. After completely worn, the tubes are easy to replace, since standard South African popular pipe sizes are used.


  • Chain breaking strength will limit maximum capacity and distance of conveying.
  • Conveying in a 2-dimensional plane only.


Diameter of Tube (mm):
Max. Capacity
TC165 165 59
TC194  194 88
TC220 220 110
273 200
323 300
356 360

*Capacities are based on dry clean grain with a bulk density of 750 kg/m3.

Drive kilowatts are determined by the total length of filled conveyor. Proper grain storage management might require that the grain needs to be moved from one silo to another.
This results in the longest distance of filled conveyor and this will determine the final drive kilowatts of the system.

Contact Gertech to assist in determining the required motor kilowatt.

Conveyor Lay-outs:

The following basic possibilities exist when this system is used to service storage systems for free flowing or semi-free flowing materials:

  • Vertical loop :
    For instance, to fill - and reclaim from silos using a single conveyor;
  • Inclined, or slanted loop :
    Used also to fill - and reclaim from a row of silos, but inlets from silos are outside the silos;
  • Double barrel, or parallel tube :
    For instance, to fill silos, or to convey grain over longer horizontal distances;
    Configuration - Either straight line, horizontal conveying, OR inclined conveying to a maximum of 60 degrees;
  • Combination of loop & double barrel.TC Layout : LOOP


Power Failures during conveying:

In case of a power failure the grain inside the vertical up-leg flows down and fills the lower pockets completely, making it difficult to start up under full load conditions. To overcome the additional strain on the chain during the start-up after such power failure it is recommended to purge the vertical leg by opening the bottom inspection window of the lower bend and drain the vertical leg of the conveyor. This procedure is especially recommended when power failures are a regular occurrence.


  • Discs: Either Ultra High Molecular Weight PolyElthilene (UHMWPE); Nylon or Anti-Static Tivar (for coal)
  • Shape of discs is determined by the product to be conveyed. Discs to convey nuts are different than discs for sugar or grain.
  • Chain: Mostly pin-and-link blades type to allow longer distances. These chains are stronger compared to marine type chains.
  • Chain speed:
    • For industrial usage: <1 m/s ( Based on 24 hr/day and 52 weeks per year)
    • For farmers: up to 2 m/s
    • For ATEX Zone 22 dust environment : <1 m/s
  • Gertech has developed an unique method to secure sprockets onto shafts.This design makes it impossible for the sprockets to move sideways. No grub screws are used.
  • All conveyor casing components are to be properly earthed to reduce the accidental discharge of static electricity which can cause a fire.


This conveyor principle forms a safety barrier against a dust explosion taking place before the conveyor.

Gertech can be contacted to discuss any specific needs and ideas. Please allow for a couple of days for specified quotations.