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What Are Traction Lifts?

Published on 29th May 2020
by Robyn

Elevator technology has come on leaps and bounds over the years, but traction lifts have been a strong staple in the industry that show no signs of being left behind any time soon. With lower power consumption than hydraulic lifts and relatively high speeds, traction elevators have proven themselves to be a worthwhile investment on both a commercial and residential level. They work on a rope-and-pulley system with a counterweight at the end of what is usually a steel rope. They are looped around sheaves that are turned by an electric motor - however, conventional motor room and motor room-less models have some key differences:

Conventional Motor Room Traction Lift

Conventional traction lifts have long-since required room to house the motor that powers the elevator. For residential properties, this wasn’t always feasible, making traditional traction lifts only really ideal for commercial and public properties. In some cases, a residential property may have been built with a motor room as part of the design, in which case conventional motor room traction lifts are still available for replacement of old parts or elevator shafts. However, MRL (motor room-less) models are paving the way to installing traction lifts in homes across the world.

Motor Room-Less

MRL traction lifts don’t require much room at all for the elevator’s power source - in fact, most geared and gearless MRL elevators can house the motor within the elevator shaft itself. Usually, the smaller motor is installed either at the bottom of the hoistway or on the top side wall. These elevators offer a hotel-style lift and a comfortable and smooth journey with minimal noise during operation and ever-improving precision when stopping at floors.

  • Geared - Geared motor room-less traction lifts use a gearbox with the electric motor in order to power and move the elevator car. They are usually powered by AC (Alternating Current) or DC (Direct Current) and are typically slower than gearless traction lifts, but also offer lower energy consumption overall.
  • Gearless- Gearless traction elevators see the sheath wheel attached directly to the motor and can typically travel faster than a geared alternative though generally slower than motor-room models. For this reason, they are the typical choice for higher-rise buildings but do consume more energy during use.

Regardless of the type of traction elevator you get, they all offer similar benefits when compared to hydraulic alternatives. The ride is smoother and quieter than a hydraulic system, with improved energy efficiency throughout it’s lifespan and while slower compared to a motor-room traction lift, are perfect for a residential setting.

The Speed Of Residential Traction Lifts

Our standard residential traction lifts travel at speeds of around 0.15mps, though a faster option of 1mps is also available through us from another manufacturer. Both lifts are designed for home use, however the slower speed elevators only require 140mm in pit depth and 2500mm in headroom, making for minimal disruption or work needed on your property. If you have space and would like the faster lift, the alternative requires 1.2 metres of pit depth and 3600 in headroom.

It’s also worth noting that site preparation is also more limited on the slower traction lift. Faster models need lifting beams in order to operate safely and smoothly, as well as full CE markings and testing from an external company to ensure that it meets regulations and legal requirements. Our Altura Diamond Traction lift only requires testing for the lift itself and the final handover in which we’ll explain everything you need to know about safely operating your new home lift.

The power supply on our 0.15mps model is only single phase, compares to a 3 phase power supply for the faster option, meaning that slower also means better energy efficiency overall. Regardless of the speed you need or desire, you’ll still have one-press controls with sliding or swing doors depending on your preferences.

The Altura Diamond Traction Lift

The Altura Diamond traction lift offers a modern take on a traditional lift, and is one of the most stylish home elevators on the market, perfect for residential or light commercial use in a number of properties. It has been designed with comfort and elegance in mind, using a smooth-running gearless system to lift and lower the elevator car resulting in a comfortable ride and near-silent operation. In fact, this traction elevator has noise levels lower than “the average background noise in a silent room.” 

It offers a hotel-style lift within your home for that unique look, while taking up minimal room compared to a commercial alternative. It glides easily between floors, rising up to 18,000mm, with a maximum of 6 stops per lift making it perfect for most homes. It is fully bespoke too, giving you the option to choose cabin fittings, the wall or floor finishes, accents, the control panel and even the ceiling so your Altura Diamond lift suits your existing interior decor or any design you might want.

You can find out more about the Altura Diamond traction lift over at the product page. For any other information, feel free to get in touch with a member of the team, today.