is a specialized container attached to a machine, as compared to a bucket
A bucket, also called a pail, is typically a watertight, vertical cylinder or truncated cone, with an open top and a flat bottom, usually attached to a semicircular carrying handle called the bail. A pail can have an open top or can have a lid....
adapted to the form of a human being. It is a bulk material handling
Bulk material handling is an engineering field that is centered around the design of equipment used for the handling of dry materials such as ores, coal, cereals, wood chips, sand, gravel and stone in loose bulk form...
The bucket has an inner volume as compared to other types of machine attachments like blades or shovels.
The bucket could be attached to the lifting hook
A lifting hook is a device for grabbing and lifting loads by means of a device such as a hoist or crane. A lifting hook is usually equipped with a safety latch to prevent the disengagement of the lifting wire rope sling, chain or rope to which the load is attached.A hook may have one or more...
of a crane
A crane is a type of machine, generally equipped with a hoist, wire ropes or chains, and sheaves, that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. It uses one or more simple machines to create mechanical advantage and thus move loads beyond the normal capability of...
, at the end of the arm of an excavating machine
Excavators are heavy construction equipment consisting of a boom, stick, bucket and cab on a rotating platform . The house sits atop an undercarriage with tracks or wheels. A cable-operated excavator uses winches and steel ropes to accomplish the movements. They are a natural progression from the...
, to a the wires of a dragline excavator
A dragline excavator is a piece of heavy equipment used in civil engineering and surface mining.In civil engineering the smaller types are used for road, port construction, and as pile driving rigs. The larger types are used in strip-mining operations to move overburden above coal, and for...
, to the arms of a power shovel or a tractor
A tractor is a vehicle specifically designed to deliver a high tractive effort at slow speeds, for the purposes of hauling a trailer or machinery used in agriculture or construction...
equipped with a backhoe loader
A backhoe loader, also called a loader backhoe, digger, or colloquially shortened to backhoe, is a heavy equipment vehicle that consists of a tractor fitted with a shovel/bucket on the front and a small backhoe on the back...
or to a loader, or to a dredge.
The name "bucket" may have been coined from buckets used in water wheel
A water wheel is a machine for converting the energy of free-flowing or falling water into useful forms of power. A water wheel consists of a large wooden or metal wheel, with a number of blades or buckets arranged on the outside rim forming the driving surface...
s, or used in water turbines or in similar-looking devices.
Buckets in mechanical engineering can have a distinct quality from the traditional bucket (pail) whose purpose is to contain things. Larger versions of this type of bucket equip bucket trucks to contain human beings, buckets in water-hauling systems in mines or, for instance, in helicopter buckets to hold water to combat fires.
Two other types of mechanical buckets can be distinguished according to the final destination of the device they equip: energy-consumer systems like excavators or energy-capturer systems like water bucket wheels or turbines.
Size and shape
Buckets exist in a variety of sizes or shapes. They can can be quite large like those equipping Hulett
The Hulett automatic ore unloader was invented by George Hulett of Ohio in the late 19th century; he received a patent for his invention in 1898. The first working machine was built the following year at Conneaut Harbor in Conneaut, Ohio...
cranes, used to discharge ore out of cargo ships in harbours or very small such as those used by deep-sea exploration vehicles.
The shape of the bucket can vary from the truncated conical shape of an actual bucket to more scoop-like or spoon-like shapes akin to water turbines. The cross section can be round or square.
This is the same shape of a domestic form, the one-piece-standing single element, but often with an augmented size.
In early developments of mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...
, a large simple bucket allowed easy insertion of both miners and construction materials such as pit prop
A pit prop or mine prop is a length of lumber used to prop up the roofs of tunnels in coal mines.Canada traditionally supplied pit props to the British market...
s, and later extraction of miners and ore. Common terms used in various parts of the world include: Bowk; Kibble; Hoppit; Hoppet. Latterly they have been called sinking buckets, as they are now only used when sinking new mine shafts before insertion of the cage, or for emergency rescue.
Concrete buckets help deliver concrete on a specific site of a building by the means of a tower crane. They have a bottom opening to allow concrete to flow out of the bucket when in-place.
Electrical trucks bucket
They are placed at the end of an excavator-like arm and have to be made from a material that provides isolation from electricity, like fiber glass, to help the workers protect themselves. There may be a door on the side of the bucket.
Excavator buckets are made of solid steel and generally present teeth protruding from the cutting edge, to disrupt hard material and avoid wear-and-tear of the bucket. Subsets of the excavator bucket are: the ditching bucket, trenching bucket, A ditching bucket is a wider bucket with no teeth, 5–6 ft (1.5–1.8 ) used for excavating larger excavations and grading stone. A trenching excavator bucket is normally 6 inch wide and with protruding teeth.
The clamshell bucket is a more sophisticated articulated several-pieces device, including two elementary buckets associated on a hinged structure forming a claw-like appendage with an internal volume.
The design is used in bucket-wheel excavator
Bucket-wheel excavators are heavy equipment used in surface mining and mechanical engineering/civil engineering. The primary function of BWEs is to act as a continuous digging machine in large-scale open pit mining operations...
s. The buckets in the wheel have to be made of solid material to withstand the resistance of the material it cuts through.
In energy production
The bucket wheel design is also used to capture the water energy in water-wheels or water turbines like Pelton wheel
The Pelton wheel is an impulse turbine which is among the most efficient types of water turbines. It was invented by Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s. The Pelton wheel extracts energy from the impulse of moving water, as opposed to its weight like traditional overshot water wheel...
s. The buckets also have to be made of solid material to withstand the force of the water flow. Their shape is optimized according to their purpose.
Other designs include vertical shaft wind turbines designs like on the Savonius wind turbine
Savonius wind turbines are a type of vertical-axis wind turbine , used for converting the force of the wind into torque on a rotating shaft...
. In this case, the buckets have to be made of a light material.
The buckets-ladders are used in bucket elevator
A bucket elevator, also called a grain leg, is a mechanism for hauling flowable bulk materials vertically.It consists of:# Buckets to contain the material;# A belt to carry the buckets and transmit the pull;...
s or in the dredge design of some dredgers.