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Vision 350 /// Pneumatic Glass Elevator

Are Vacuum Elevators Cylinder?

Nationwide Lifts' Economical & Efficient Mobility Systems

The technology surrounding pneumatic (vacuum) elevators is exciting and unique. It's also part of the reason why vacuum elevators are cylinder-shaped.

It starts with air. Vacuum elevators operate by utilizing air pressure to lift the elevator's cab to the desired floor(s). The cylinder cab has a vacuum built into the ceiling. The idea is to create a smooth ride through air suction. The movement is basically a result of the atmospheric pressure on top of the cab and the atmospheric pressure under the cab. Air pressure is what moves the elevator up and down. The lift of the cab comes from turbines operating as exhaust fans. Those fans are at the top of the elevator. The cylinder cab of a vacuum elevator is able to move without causing any real friction.

So why the cylinder rather than a square cab? Again, it's about the design that will work with the vacuum principal. The cylinder of a vacuum elevator is a self-supporting tube, built around an aluminum structure. The roof of the tube is made of steel and is designed to ensure air-tight closures with suction valves.

The turbines at the top of the elevator's circular tube draw air out of the tube above the elevator cab and pull the cab upward. When the elevator cab reaches the designated level, steel brakes secure the elevator cab to the landing. When it is time for the elevator to descend, the turbines turn off for a second, lifting the elevator cab off the brakes. The cab drifts down slowly and quietly.

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