An excavator bucket is an essential part of heavy construction equipment.
The buckets are steel made, teeth-edged, specialized containers which are attached to the arm of an excavating machine. They are bulk material handling components. The teeth protruding from the cutting edge of the container helps to avoid wear and tear of the bucket.
An excavator bucket has two subsets:
- a) A ditching bucket which is wider in size and is devoid of teeth, it is used for larger excavations and grading stone. It is 5 to 6 feet (1.52-1.83 m) in size.
- b) A trenching bucket with protruding teeth to disrupt hard material. It is normal 96 to 24 inches (152 to 610 mm) wide.
The manufacturing process for the bucket teeth, in case of trenching buckets, involves the checking of hardness and abrasion resistance which may be enhanced by secondary forging and pressing.
Heating iron ingots manufacture the teeth of the bucket. Billets are forged, pressed, trimmed, punched and fixed to the edge by performing heat treatment. After that, they are sand polished, and flaws are detected, followed by a due correction.
To make the performance of the bucket teeth remarkably superior, they are put into machine oil and quenched. This greatly enhances the hardness and imparts toughness, thereby, obtaining more rigid structures. Compared to the common investment casting, the abrasion resistance of the bucket teeth is enhanced by more than three times by this process.
Ditching buckets are mainly suitable for digging ditches or for removing ditch sediments quickly and efficiently. Unlike trenching buckets, the edges of a ditching bucket are devoid of teeth and are lightly serrated. These are specially engineered for ditch maintenance, grading, slope work, and construction.
A ditching bucket is a type of excavator bucket which is wider in size and is unsuitable for hard rock cutting. They, at times, may have holes for draining water, which make them suitable for working in moist and wet environments. The edge of the bucket may either be lightly serrated (for the badly overgrown ditches) or may be merely linear.
The sides of a ditch bucket are usually made of AR steel plates. AR 360 and AR 400 are the most popularly known steel plates required for ditching bucket manufacturing.
Trenching buckets, unlike ditch buckets, are heavy duty excavators because they can work quite efficiently in almost all type of soil conditions. They are made of superb quality materials which can resist abrasion and have durable side cutters who provide extra strength and are equipped with pads at the bottom for extra protection.
The main component in case of a trenching bucket is essentially nickel. Nickel is a material which provides increased strength, toughness and also helps to prevent corrosion. In certain cases, an ADI (Austempered Ductile Iron), which is treated with heat, is used to manufacture a trenching bucket.
The teeth of the trenching bucket are made from heat treated alloy steel whose type may vary depending on the manufacturers. Along with nickel, molybdenum is the other primary alloying element used to manufacture the teeth. It improves the hardness and strength of steel and lowers the risk of pitting corrosion as well.
Hence, it may so be concluded, that the subsets of excavator buckets are differently used for varied purposes depending on the intensity of the task and that such subsets are made up of several different materials all of which are either type of steel or iron (mostly steel). The loading and manufacturing method of a bucket decide on the type of material to be used for making it.