Heavy-Duty Rotary Breakers

Heavy-Duty Rotary Breakers are designed to simultaneously size ROM feeds while removing refuse from the feed. The heavy-duty design incorporates narrower screen plates and additional cylinder beams to create an extra rigid cylinder needed for tougher applications.


Rotary Breakers are often used to produce the final shippable product; however, in some cases they are used in applications as a primary crusher, scalping off rock and refuse and removing it from the downstream process, thus extending the life of the equipment and wear components.

Heavy-Duty Rotary Breakers are very reliable, durable, maintenance friendly and have been widely used in the mining industry for decades to crush ROM coal, oil sands and cryolite. The design includes two discharge plows to reject increased amounts of refuse.

How Heavy-Duty Rotary Breakers Work

The Heavy-Duty Rotary Breaker consists of a large rotating drum that is driven by an electric motor, gear reducer to a chain and segmented sprocket bolted to the cylinder. The cylinder is equipped with replaceable locomotive steel tires, which ride on a pair of trunnion rollers at each end of the cylinder. Thrust rollers are positioned at each end to prevent excessive axial float. When the Rotary Breaker is properly aligned, the drum will float between the thrust rollers, not ride hard to one side or the other.

Feed material is introduced at the front end of the cylinder and proceeds to be continually lifted and dropped on to a series of perforated breaker plates. This lifting and dropping action allows for the coal or similar types of feed material to fracture along naturally occurring cleavage lines, producing less fines and passing through the screen plate openings into the product chute. The harder material, such as rock and refuse, continues advancing through the drum until it is discharged onto the refuse belt or pile. Heavy-Duty Rotary Breakers require low horsepower per ton of material processed while cleaning and sizing simultaneously.

Why McLanahan Heavy-Duty Rotary Breakers

McLanahan Corporation built the first Rotary Breaker in 1893, and since that time, our design is an evolution of more than 100 years of rotary equipment knowledge. Our overlapping screen plate design is bolted to the inside of the steel cylinder beams to further strengthen and add rigidity to the cylinder.

Designed to be durable, low-maintenance machines, Heavy-Duty Rotary Breakers are both safe and simple to operate. The low operating speed and horsepower requirement make Rotary Breakers economical to operate and easy to maintain. When maintenance is required, inspection doors in the fabricated steel, sectionalized dust housing, which covers the breaker cylinder, allow easy access, and the optional inching drive offers a safer means of rotating the cylinder. Centrally banked lubrication lines allow an operator to lubricate all bearings from one location.

All critical surfaces are machined during the manufacturing process in a single large lathe that allows for a concentric drum that runs vibration free and extends the overall life of the equipment. This eliminates any chances of wobble or vibration during operation. Depending on the application, screen plates are offered to produce multiple product sizes and are also offered in non-plugging designs. The screen plates are installed in an overlapping fashion to protect the cylinder beams and provide additional structural support. Chute work at the feed and discharge ends ensures a smooth transition of material in and out of the cylinder.

There is a significant difference in the dust housing provided for the heavy-duty class breaker.  The dust housing for this class includes a sloped section at the bottom for converging discharge material onto a conveyor. This bottom chute work is lined with a 3/8” thick abrasion-resistant steel plate. Each section of the dust housing is provided with an access door with neoprene seals. A rubber seal is also provided at the feed and discharge edge of the dust housing where it surrounds the rotating cylinder.

Frequently Asked Questions About Heavy-Duty Rotary Breakers

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The operating cost of a Heavy-Duty Rotary Breaker is relatively low due to the rugged design, minimal downtime and low power consumption in comparison to other machines performing similar crushing applications.

In addition to Heavy-Duty Rotary Breakers, consider Feeder-Breakers, single and two stage Roll Crushers and Mineral Sizers.

The ratio of reduction is quite high since the Rotary Breakers can except larger feed sizes, which plays a role in selecting the drum diameter, while producing a small product size. The product size and tonnage requirement will also factor into the length of the breaker required for the application.

The lifters in a Heavy-Duty Rotary Breaker drum play multiple roles. First, they lift and drop the feed material to initiate the breaking action. Second, they can be set in a neutral, advancing or retarding position. How the material is performing in the breaker will determine in what position they are set.

Heavy-Duty Rotary Breakers are very reliable, durable, maintenance friendly and have been widely used in the mining industry for decades.

Features & Benefits
  • All guarding meets MSHA and OSHA requirements in the U.S. and can comply with other countries’ requirements
  • Drive sprockets and chain completely encased in steel enclosure
  • Full-length base frame aids with installation and alignment
  • Adjustable lifters allow for advancing or retarding the flow of material
  • Renewable steel cylinder and trunnion tires
  • Cylinder end sections manufactured out of heavy-duty fabricated steel construction and machined for concentricity to ensure smooth operation
  • End sections joined by wide flange steel beams to form the cylinder frame
  • Perforated and overlapping screen plate design bolted to the inside of the steel beams to further strengthen and form the cylinder
  • Four independently adjustable trunnion rollers support the cylinder ends
  • Cylinder driven by a chain and sprocket utilizing a motor/coupler/reducer drive configuration

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