Drag Chain Conveyors

Drag Chain Conveyors Engineered for a Wide Range of Process Industries

The term drag chain conveyor is a broadly used term throughout the material handling industry. Drag chain conveyors are an effective way to move or elevate material and transfer it from point to point. The design, layout configurations, service duty rating, size of the drive, and type of chain and flight assembly are all components that make a significant difference on the quality, durability and longevity of any given drag conveyor.

Efficient Operating Principle of Drag Chain

The principle operation of a drag conveyor is based on material movement using a skeletal chain and flight assembly that is drawn along the bottom section of an enclosed housing. Drag conveyors are an optimum choice for bulk processors, power producers, cement manufacturers and minerals processors for the conveying efficiency and enclosed housing.

Unlike a belt conveyor, a drag conveyor uses nearly 50% of the available space inside the conveyor housing for material movement, a belt conveyor only uses about 20%. This means that a greater volume of material can be moved in a smaller housing, at slower speeds and with less horsepower. Slower chain speed means less wear, and less horsepower equals lower energy requirements and operating costs.

Conveyor Type Comparison

Conveying Type Efficient Utilization of Space Maximum Distance Ease of Maintenance* Maximum Degree of Elevation
Belt 20% +200 ft. Difficult 10 deg.
Screw 45% +/-25 ft. without Hanger Bearings Moderate 90 deg.
Drag Chain 50% 100-200 ft. Easy 90 deg.
En-Masse Drag Chain 90% 100-400 ft. Easy 90 deg.

*Accessibility, Frequency Required, and Availability of Key Components; Understood industry norms assuming operating variables are relatively equal.

CDM Drag Chain Conveying System

Drag Chain Conveyor Features and Options

Click the image below to see detailed features and components of the CDM Drag Chain Conveyor.

CDM En-Masse Features and Options

Drag Chain Conveying Features

  • The housing is dust, weather and can be gas tight
  • Moves material with minimal product degradation
  • Provides high hourly capacities
  • Low maintenance – only two lubrication points
  • Totally enclosed – inherently safe
  • Our exclusive Drop-Forged base chain design offering longevity and reliability
  • Built for 24 hr/day operation
  • The chain is case-hardened Alloy Steel (550-650 BHN)
  • The segmental drive sprocket design features tooth replacement without removal of drive shaft
  • Complete with an auxiliary spring-loaded chain take-up
  • Optional catenary take-up
  • Abrasion-resistant construction

Drag Chain Conveying Options

In applications where the use of a dual strand conveyor is warranted due to chain pull requirements and/or capacity requirements, CDM will often recommend the use of our Twin Drive Station or twin strand conveyors. By providing our Twin design we gain the advantages of a dual strand conveyor (added chain pull to allow slower chain speeds and increased sectional area for capacity) along with the advantages of a single strand conveyor (where uneven chain elongation, upset conditions and bent flights have little or no effect on performance).

CDM Slide Gates

CDM Drag Conveyor Slide Gate

CDM Slide GatesWe manufacture our own slide gates for each of our Drag Chain and En-Masse Conveyors. Our goal is to provide you the best conveyors and components with the greatest longevity at a competitive price.




Convey Horizontally, Vertically, on an Incline or an L-Path

A Drag Chain Conveyor not only affords an optimum 90% utilization of space; equating to a smaller conveyor moving higher volumes of material compared to other conveyor technologies, but also can move material in a variety of inclines. This layout flexibility comes from the wide range of flight types offered by CDM. Proper flight selection is key to conveying horizontally, on a degreed incline, or vertically.

Horizontal Drag Chain Conveyor Layout Inclined Drag Chain Conveyor Layout L-Path Drag Chain Conveyor Layout

The Chain Moves Material

When considering a drag chain conveyor for a bulk material handling application, the chain is the most critical component to evaluate. The hardness formula, design, flight selection, strength, and wear resistance are critical factors used in manufacturing a CDM drag chain that will offer the durability and reliability of today’s plant operating demands. If the chain fails, production levels and delivery deadlines are missed. We have developed and perfected the optimum chain formula for strength and longevity. For 40 years our chain has been the industry standard of quality, we are the single greatest supplier of chain in the industry to end users and OEM conveyor manufacturers. When you have a CDM chain, you know you have the best.