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3 Common Elevator Types

May 28, 2019

Elevators. We don’t think much about them – yet rely on them to get us from point A to point B. Modern construction in large urban centers offer no anonymity when it comes to the importance of elevator interiors. Imagine if you had to climb up 20 flights of stairs just to get to your front door – elevators offer a large degree of efficiency when conducting our daily routines. If you live in a building you might have to take the elevator down to the parking garage, drive to work and then take another elevator up to your office. But have you ever considered what sets those two elevators apart?


Today we’ll discuss three common types of elevators and why they are useful.


Hydraulic Elevators


  • A piston lies at the base of the elevator configuration, and serves to drive the elevator up while an electric motor disperses oil or hydraulic fluid onto the piston
  • As the elevator descends, a release valve draws the fluid or oil out of the piston
  • A machine room will accompany hydraulic elevators and can usually be found at the lowest floor across from the elevator interiors
  • Hydraulic elevators are used in low-rise buildings of 2-8 levels



Geared and Gearless Traction Elevators


  • Traction Elevators – use ropes to lift the elevator cart and involves the ropes being passed over a wheel that is connected to an electric motor located directly above the elevator shaft
  • Geared Traction Elevators – use a gearbox that is connected to an electric motor that runs the wheel in order to move the ropes
  • Gearless Traction Elevators – this design involves wheels that are driven by an attached motor



Machine Room Less (MRL Elevators)


  • MRL elevators are also traction elevators, but do not require a machine room. Instead a smaller control room which sends input is found across from the elevator interiors on the highest level
  • MRL elevators are well-suited for mid-rise buildings and are more energy efficient, require less space, and are faster than other elevator design types