Working Principle of Escalators I


Escalators work in much the same way that conveyor belts do, and in most cases the moving stairs are actually on a belt that rotates around a set of gears at a certain fixed speed. The gears tend to be large, and typically sit just below the steps. They are electrically powered and, as they turn, the steps move. In practice, the stairs themselves are just grooved metal that lies flat as it travels down the backside, beneath the floor, and back around again. And this same Elevator Manufacturer system controls handrail motion, though this is an additional moving part.

These machines often look really imposing, but from a mechanical perspective they tend to be pretty straightforward. Repairs are also usually pretty easy, though they can take a lot of time if they involve major moving parts. Generally, accessibility is often the hardest part about servicing gears and other internal parts.

The core machinery for these large appliances is usually hidden beneath the steps in what is called a truss. At the top of the machine, housed in the truss, is an electric motor that runs the four primary gears all models have. And these four gears include two drive gears on either side at the top and two return gears on either side at the bottom. Chains loop around the gears and run down each side. These chains are connected to each step and help each make their way up or down at a speed that is set by the motor, often through an electronic control panel.

The way the steps flatten out at the tops and bottoms has to do with how each step is constructed as a unit. As a rule, the stairs themselves are little more than flattened metal with four wheels attached to the underside, two each on the top and bottom. The two wheels that are closest to the top of the step connect to the two chains that loop around the gears. The horizontal positioning of that chain at the top and bottom causes the steps, in turn, to flatten out. The two wheels that are closest to the bottom of the step roll along a rail within the truss for stability. The grooves in the steps aren’t really essential, though they’re thought to help with alignment and can also improve balance and stability for people riding.

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