Early crane designs did not use any form of buffer to absorb the end of travel impact, with the crane end stop being nothing more than a steel block. However, as technology advanced cranes began to operate at a much faster speed and steel to steel impacts caused severe damage to the crane trolley system.
To prevent costly repairs and downtime of the crane, manufacturers began to use a variety of different types of crane buffer. Crane buffers can be split into three common types:
Elastomer crane buffers (also known as crane bumpers) are extremely durable, resistant to corrosion and have a compact size. Manufactured from polyurethane, this crane buffer type has both shock absorbing and spring characteristics. Therefore when impacted, some of the energy is returned back into the system, in this case the crane trolley.
When impact speeds are high and the reaction force on impact is required to be minimal, it is best to use a hydraulic crane buffer. Also known as heavy duty shock absorbers, this type of buffer operates on the basis of oil displacement.
The final type is the elasto-fluid buffer, which uses a high viscosity elastomer as the damping medium. This buffer type provides a progressive deceleration and is maintenance free and secure against leakage.
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