Classroom on demand

Welcome to Classroom on demand, your source for educational materials related to the vertical transportation industry. This site represents the knowledge and expertise of the best engineers and mechanics in the elevator industry, and will help those new to the elevator industry learn about the basic workings of elevator systems, and also will serve as a reference for people with more experience.

Escalator Overview

The escalator/moving walk truss is an assembly of structural steel or tubular steel shapes which form a supporting structure. The truss is typically constructed in three sections: upper, center and lower.
The upper section, sometimes called the upper head, is the horizontal portion of the truss at the upper end. The drive unit, connecting sprockets and controller are normally mounted in the upper section.
The center section varies in length and its length is constrained by design and consists of balustrade, step tracks, steps, etc.
The lower section, sometimes called the lower head, is the horizontal portion of the truss at the lower end. The step chain tension device, landing plate and step entry are mounted in the lower end.
Drive Unit
The drive unit is a combination of motor and gear which forms the drive mechanism for all moving parts.
Step/Pallet Chains
Step chains are large roller chains which form the connecting linkage between each of the steps and the drive machine.
Step/Pallet Terms
The step (escalator) or pallet (moving walk) is the moving assembly which carries the passenger.
Step Riser
The step riser is the vertical portion of the escalator step. Moving walk pallets do not feature a riser as they are flat in design.
Step/Pallet Tread
The step/pallet tread is the horizontal portion of the step/pallet upon which the passenger stands.
The balustrade is the portion of the escalator/moving walk extending above the steps including skirt panels, glass or stainless steel interior panels, inner and outer deckings and handrail. The balustrade protects passengers riding the moving stairway / walkway forming a barrier through the entire travel of the unit.
Lower end Tension Carriage
The tension carriage assembly located in the lower end of the escalator/moving walk is designed to maintain even tension on the step/moving walk chains in order to ensure smooth and even step/pallet operation from tip to bottom.
Intermediate Support
Normally provided by others and required only on escalators / moving walk with rises above 20’-0”. It is used to give additional support at a point near the center of the longitudinal length of the truss. This also reduces loading reactions on the building supports at each end of the escalator. (see file 1012-12)
Safety Switches
Electrical switches located at various points within the unit which will cause the escalator / moving walk to electrically shut down and mechanically set the service brake located on the drive machine to prevent accidents to riding passengers or damage to the escalator equipment.

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