When it comes to material handling in various industries, two popular choices are air slide fabric and drag chain conveyors. Both offer unique advantages and are suitable for specific applications.

What is Air Slide Fabric

Air slide fabric, also known as air slide conveyor belt, is a porous material made from synthetic fibers, typically polyester or nylon. It is designed to transport bulk materials using a low-pressure air stream to move particles along the conveyor.

Air slide fabric operates on the principle of fluidization. A continuous flow of air is introduced from below the fabric, creating a fluid-like state within the material being transported. This allows the material to flow smoothly and evenly along the conveyor, making it ideal for handling fine powders and granular materials.

What is a Drag Chain Conveyor?

A drag chain conveyor is a mechanical system that uses a chain to move bulk materials through a trough or enclosed casing. The chain drags the material along the bottom of the conveyor, making it suitable for handling larger, heavier materials such as coal, grain, or bulk solids.

Drag chain conveyors work by dragging a chain assembly through a trough, and the material is carried along with it. The chains have attachments or flights that push or pull the material, depending on the design, making it a robust and reliable option for heavy-duty applications.

Top 9 Comparing Air Slide Fabric and Drag Chain Conveyor

FactorsAir Slide FabricDrag Chain Conveyor
Material TypeIdeal for fine powders and granules.Suitable for larger, heavier materials.
Conveying EfficiencyHigh efficiency for fluidized materials.Efficient for transporting bulk solids.
MaintenanceLow maintenance due to fewer moving parts.Requires regular maintenance of chains and flights.
Energy ConsumptionEnergy-efficient due to low-pressure air usage.Consumes more energy, especially for longer distances.
Installation FlexibilityFlexible installation options, including inclined and curved conveyors.Limited flexibility in terms of configuration.
Wear and TearMinimal wear and tear on materials.Can cause wear on materials and equipment.
Noise LevelLow noise level during operation.May generate higher noise levels.
CostGenerally cost-effective for specific applications.Higher initial and operational costs.

Top 3 Applications for Air Slide Fabric

  • Cement Industry: Air slide fabric is commonly used to transport cement and other fine powders in cement plants.
  • Food Processing: It is suitable for handling food-grade materials like flour and sugar.
  • Chemical Industry: Air slide fabric can transport various chemicals in a controlled and dust-free manner.

Top 3 Applications for Drag Chain Conveyor

  • Mining and Metals: Drag chain conveyors are ideal for moving ores, aggregates, and other heavy materials in mining and metallurgical industries.
  • Agriculture: They are commonly used for handling grains, feed, and other agricultural products.
  • Power Plants: Drag chain conveyors can transport coal and biomass for power generation.


The choice between air slide fabric and drag chain conveyor depends on the specific requirements of your material handling application. Air slide fabric excels in conveying fine powders and granular materials with efficiency and low maintenance. On the other hand, drag chain conveyors are well-suited for heavy-duty applications involving larger and denser materials.

Consider factors such as material type, efficiency, maintenance, energy consumption, and installation flexibility when making your decision. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each material handling solution, you can select the one that best meets your industry’s needs, ultimately improving your operational efficiency and productivity.