The only major change that has taken place in elevators over the past 50 years is the control systems. Elevators themselves are fairly simple devices, the basic lifting system being basically the same as it always has.
Each new elevator is designed for a specific building, taking into account such factors as the height of the building, the number of people using the elevator on a regular basis and the expected periods of use. But what are they actually made up of?
The elevator car is constructed with a steel framework that gives it durability and strength. A cross head is positioned over the top of the car, made up of a set of steel beams. These span the elevator shaft from side to side and hold the pulley system for the hoist cable.
Another steel structure known as the sling, extends down the sides of the car from the crosshead and cradles the floor, or the platform. The car itself is made up of steel sheets which are trimmed on the inside with decorative panelling. The floor of the car may be made up of tiles or carpet depending on the design.
Handrails and other trim may be made from stainless steel for appearance and durability, but other materials are available. To light the car, a suspended ceiling is usually hung below the actual roof of the car to contain fluorescent lighting above plastic diffuser panels.
The elevators controls, alarm button and emergency telephone are all contained behind the panels in the front of the car itself.
The elevator moves by following steel guide rollers or guide shoes that are attached to the top and bottom of the sling structure on each side to run along the guide rails. These guide rails are also made from steel and are attached to the interior walls of the elevator shaft running the length of the building.
For safety, an emergency brake system built of two clamping faces which can be driven together by a wedge to squeeze on the guide rail is built onto the cabin. The wedge is activated by a screw turned by a drum attached to an emergency cable.
Today, steel is not the only material used to make elevators. For practical and symbolic design, we now have a lot of glass elevators and lift design companies also use a number of different materials to help them stand out on the design front. For lift maintenance on your elevator system, contact Sheridan Lifts today.