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Wood Chippers Are Available In A Wide Range Of Sizes

Wood chippers have been essential to the recycling industry for decades, breaking up large branches and trunks into small, manageable pieces of 1-3 inches that can subsequently be used in a number of applications.

Medium-sized blocks of approximately three inches or so can be sold as fire starters
. Smaller pieces work well as raw material for the production of paper pulp or as organic mulch for landscaping and agricultural purposes. Even smaller fragments lend themselves for use as animal bedding or playground surfacing. The product also finds application as a biomass solid fuel, as an admixture in sewage composting plants, and as a landfill cover material.

Wood chippers are available in a wide range of sizes, but their basic functionality remains the same across the board
. Some are mobile and allow operators to reduce timber into workable pieces onsite. These machines are useful for city or county departments as well as private contractors that offer yard waste recycling or tree cutting services. Some are mounted on large trucks. Stationary versions can be used in processing plants, often in tandem with conveyors that transport the timber to the feed tray.

The primary elements of the machinery typically include the aforementioned feed tray, a hopper with a collar, cutting blades and a discharge spout and/or collection bin. Industrial-size machines often feature grooved rollers that grip the wood and funnel it to the blades at a steady speed.

Wood chippers come in three basic versions, each equipped with a different kind of cutting mechanism

•    Drum: This type of machinery features a horizontal drum that contains blades (or flails) spaced at regular intervals. It is suitable for large loads but consumes a lot of energy and produces chips that are uneven in size.
•    Disk: This version features a vertical disk with flails that cut timber at an angle of 45 degrees. Energy-efficient and expeditious, this machine produces pieces that are uniform in size but generally works best for timber that is small in diameter.
•    Screw-type: As the name implies, the blade of this machine resembles a large screw. The blade’s rotation propels the timber through the machine and consistently produces pieces of the same size. To achieve chips of a different size, the blade has to be changed.

Aside from these three basic types, some machines also feature a combination of wood chippers and shredders. The latter generally breaks pieces down to even smaller particles, which are then normally used in residential applications such as gardening and for lining the cages of small pets like hamsters.

Large, industrial wood chippers are usually powered by gas engines, while smaller models come in a choice of electric motor or internal combustion engine. There are advantages to each type:

•    Electric: This type of motor is generally cleaner and quieter. It does not generate as much power and is more suitable for smaller projects, but on the flip-side requires less maintenance and the financial investment is lower. Mobility may be limited as the machine is tethered to a power outlet.
•    Gas-powered: This option is usually fairly noisy and more expensive. On the other hand, however, it significantly outperforms its electric counterpart in terms of the load it can handle and does not rely on a nearby source of electricity.

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