Crushers are machines designed to reduce large waste materials for easier disposal or recycling. One of the most common types of pulverizers, crushers are typically used to reduce the size of large rocks, changing them into more easily-handled small rocks, rock dust or gravel. Crushers are able to break apart or compress soft materials such as limestone, gypsum and phosphate, to very hard materials such as ore and asphalt.
There are many different types of crushers, and some of the most widely used types are jaw crushers, gyratory crushers and cone crushers. Jaw crushers and gyratory crushers work well on both soft and hard materials and are often utilized in industries such as mining, for reduction of large quarried materials such as ore; construction, to reduce large building materials such as stone and concrete; and industrial manufacturing, for the processing of large, dense materials.
Cone crushers, which are best-suited for medium to very hard materials, are advantageous for industries, including metallurgical, for the processing of large aggregates supplied by metal mining such as iron and copper ore; road building, for the reduction of building materials such as asphalt and concrete; and chemical, for the reduction of minerals used in chemical processing such as phosphate and silicic acid. Crushers are also used in industries such as demolition, automotive manufacturing and smelting.
Crushers primarily function to break apart or compress materials as a result of transferring a force supplied by mechanical means through a material that is molecularly stronger than the material it is crushing. Crushers hold materials between two parallel surfaces and then force the surfaces together with enough force to either fracture or deform the material. While they all rely on the same principle of compression, the different types of crushers function in slightly different ways.
Jaw crushers are very easy to spot versus other types of crushers because they have a recognizable design with a set of large vertical “jaws.” Of the jaws, one is stationary, while the other is mobile, and its movement creates the energy necessary for compression. Gyratory crushers, while similar to jaw crushers, differ in that they are conically-shaped with a concave surface and conical head. The movement in gyratory crushers is generated through an eccentric arrangement.
Cone crushers, on the other hand, are more similar to a gyratory crusher than a jaw crusher. Cone crushers are even more conically-shaped, with a large top opening for loading the large materials and a much smaller-bottom opening for the much smaller, crushed materials to exit. Typically, cone crushers function by squeezing materials between an eccentrically gyrating spindle and a concave hopper, both of which are protected by wear-resistant materials.