What’s an auger?

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Augers are spiral-shaped tools that move materials or liquids. They have been used since ancient times, with the first design being the water screw invented by Archimedes. Modern uses include snow blowers, Zambonis, plumbers’ tools, and grain augers for moving grain into storage bins.

An auger is a spiral-shaped tool that moves materials or liquids from one area to another. When the tool is rotated, the materials or liquids move along the spiral to the desired position. A drill bit, which is the more commonly known auger, uses the design to remove chips and other debris from the hole as it is being drilled.
Augers, however, have been used since ancient times. The first is said to have been invented in 200 BC by Archimedes. This first design was called a water screw, which was used to transfer water from lower levels to upper levels. Today, water pumps are usually used for the same purpose, although the Archimedean screw is still occasionally used.

Modern uses of the auger design can be found in snow blowers, which move snow to an impeller and then dump it into a discharge chute. Another example of a modern auger design is the Zamboni, which uses one to remove loose ice particles from the top of the ice on ice rinks in order to create a smooth surface. Plumbers also use a specialized one to remove objects from pipes. Combines, which use both an enclosed and an unenclosed auger, move unthreshed crops in a threshing mechanism to move grain in and out of the hopper.

Another agricultural use of the design is in the grain auger. This tool is used to move grain from carts and trucks into special storage bins. The grain auger can be powered by the PTO of a tractor, with an electric motor, or with an internal combustion engine. The spiral moves the grain upward through a long metal tube while the hopper receives the grain from the wagon or truck. A chute at the top helps slide the grain into the storage bin.

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