4 Types of Lifts/Elevators and Their Uses


Construction projects need a significant deal of attention to detail and might take months or years to finish. Choosing the correct building design and materials is a crucial component of the construction process. Before merging some new objects into the construction, you must examine the foundation and numerous natural components.

When constructing multi-story structures, consider how people will reach each level. Stairs are an obvious option, but an elevator is also a good idea since it is quicker, more convenient, and takes persons with disabilities and mobility constraints into account.

What is a Lift?

Electric lift is used to transfer people and products vertically between levels of buildings. They are actuated by electrical motors that also drive counterweight system cables for drive operations like a hoist, or else pump hydraulic fluid to raise a cylindrical piston like a jack.

How Lift/Elevator Works?

A lift is essentially a metal box of various designs that is attached to a strong metal rope. The lift in the engine room has a sheave where the sturdy metal rope is passed through. In this case, a sheave works like a wheel in a pulley system to tightly grip the metal rope. A motor may be used to run this system. When the motor starts, the lift moves up and down.

The speed regulating system, electric motor, rails, cabin, shaft, doors (manual and automated), drive unit, buffers, and safety device are the primary lift components that may be used to build a lift.

Modern lifts have improved control systems that increase both speed and safety. Most of the time, counterweight and 40% of the maximum rated load are used by lifts to balance the vehicle.

The counterweight’s primary function is to lessen the weight that the motor must raise in order to maintain control of the whole lift while maintaining the integrity of the wires. The steel used to construct the vehicle lift ensures its strength and endurance. A lift shaft that is stretched side to side holds the hoist cable pulley in place. A group of steel beams that are positioned above the lift vehicle manage this spinning.

Additionally, modern lift carriages are equipped with extra technologies. Some homes contain phones that may be used to call for assistance in an emergency. Others have a trap door at the ceiling that may be used as an escape route in an emergency.

According to the building’s intended use and population capacity, lifts are planned and installed. For instance, some buildings have big lifts that can carry freight to various levels. Lifts at hospitals open from both sides to make it simple for emergency patients to enter and exit.

Types of Lifts/Elevators

Lifts come in four basic varieties;

1. Geared and Gearless Traction Elevator

Three distinct categories may be used to classify geared and gearless traction Elevators:

Traction Elevator

traction lift

A wheel connected to an electric motor is positioned above the shaft of a Elevator, and ropes cross across it. The ropes’ primary use is to lift and lower the lift vehicle. It can move significantly more quickly than hydraulic lifts and is appropriate for both mid- and high-rise applications.

Similar to other Elevators, this technology employs a counterweight, which removes the weight of the passengers and the vehicle to make it simpler for the engine to move the lift load.

Geared Traction Elevator

A motor and gearbox are the main components of the geared lift. The gears’ primary use is to drive the wheel that turns the ropes. This kind of lift can go at up to 500 ft. per minute of speed. It can go up to a maximum of 250 ft.

Gearless Traction Elevator

They are best fit for skyscrapers. Lifts without gears lack a gear to control speed. This explains why they have a maximum travel distance of 2,000 ft. and a top speed of 2,000 ft. per minute. 

2. Hydraulic Elevator

hydraulic lift

A bottom-positioned piston often serves as the hydraulic lift’s support. With the help of an electric motor, hydraulic fluid is forced down a piston to propel the lift vehicle upward. The valve allows the hydraulic fluid to be released from the piston just before the lift descends. With a maximum speed of just 200 ft. per minute, this kind of lift is often found in 2 to 8 storey structures. Additional details on hydraulic elevators are provided below:

Roped Hydraulic Elevator

To improve the mobility of the lift vehicle, this kind employs both ropes and a piston. It has a maximum travel distance of around 60 ft.

Conventional Hydraulic Elevator

It is designed with a lift pit and has a sheave that extends under the pit’s floor. The pit supports a retraction piston as the elevator starts to descend. A typical hydraulic elevator may need a shorter hole below the pit in certain designs to receive a collapsing telescopic piston as the elevator lowers. It has a maximum travel distance of 60 ft.

Hole-less Hydraulic Elevator

Similar to the typical hydraulic elevator, the hole-less hydraulic elevator does not need a hole or sheave attached below the pit. At the bottom of the pit, it features telescopic pistons. The elevator vehicle may go up to 50 ft. thanks to these pistons. There is also a version that only allows movement of up to 20 ft. and uses non-telescoping pistons.

Hydraulic elevators are preferred over other types of Elevators primarily because they are less expensive to install and yet need less maintenance.

Because hydraulic elevators employ an electric motor that defies gravity, they need more energy. Because a minor leak might quickly result in a catastrophic disaster or become an environmental issue, you should periodically check the hydraulic fluid levels.

MRL lift

3. Machine-Room-Less (MRL) Elevator

The machine room is usually positioned above the Elevator shaft in most Elevators. When maintenance is necessary, this kind of elevator has a machine installed in the override area that can only be accessible from the top of the elevator car.

This elevator has a maximum travel distance of 250 ft. and a top speed of 500 ft. per minute.

MRL elevators are becoming more common in mid-rise buildings since they save energy and take up less space during construction.

4. Home Elevator – Vacuum (Air Driven)

home elevator

Vacuum elevators work without the need of any wires or pulleys. These Air-Driven elevators function according to basic physics rules. This elevator mechanism, made of polycarbonate and aluminum, is essentially a tube in a sealed vacuum. The air underneath and above the elevator vehicle is what allows the elevator car to move.

When you click the up button, the mechanism reduces the pressure above the tube, causing the air pressure below to force the tube in upward direction. As you descend, the pressure underneath decreased, pushing the elevator to descend.

This sort of elevator is usually employed in residential applications since it comes in three variants, ranging from a single passenger to a three-passenger wheelchair accessible model.

Factors to consider while choosing Elevators

Elevator may be costly investments, so it is important to weigh all options before determining which one is ideal for you. The first step is to do an evaluation of the building and establish why the elevator is required. Here are some things to think about:


Lifts vary in a variety of sizes and perform a variety of functions. Passenger elevators may carry up to 10,000 pounds. The majority of them can handle between 2,500 and 5,000 pounds. Some elevators, depending on the kind of building, may need to be outfitted with unique purposes, such as room for stretchers in a hospital.


Freight may weigh many tons and requires a special elevator to move. Freight elevators may handle up to 20,000 pounds or more.


People often mix up service elevators with freight elevators. Service elevators are conventional passenger elevators that are utilized by building employees. These are primarily utilized to give personnel with a more comfortable method to go from floor to level while minimizing disruption to customers and visitors.

Commercial or domestic

Commercial elevators are often larger than residential ones. Because home elevators have fewer passengers than business elevators, some can only accommodate one person.

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