Types of Elevators

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Many buildings use multiple elevators to reduce foot-commute time.
Many buildings use multiple elevators to reduce foot-commute time. (Image: Design Pics/Valueline/Getty Images)

The engineering of elevators has greatly improved human mobility, especially in tall buildings with many floors. Elevators have made people's lives much simpler just by reducing the the amount of time it takes to move from one floor to another. Interestingly enough, there are many different kinds of elevators that are used for specialized purposes.

The traditional passenger elevator gets people from one floor to the next. The elevators usually have relatively low weight limits, typically transporting eight to 15 people at a time, depending on the size. In some larger-volume areas, the elevator can accommodate up to 30 people.

Freight elevator describes an elevator used to transport things other than people from one floor to the next. They are typically used in large, industrial buildings where large equipment needs to get to another floor. They usually feature padded walls, and hydraulics and cords that allow much higher weight occupancies.

Personnel elevators describes elevators used for small groups of people, often reduced to one person with a little space for anything he or she might be carrying. These are often used in dam facilities to minimize the amount of space that the elevator shaft takes up.

One of the more interesting types of elevators is the limited use elevator. These types of elevators are featured in nightclubs or hospitals where mobility needs to be regulated. These elevators often only connect several floors as opposed to all floors. They are often only accessible by key and are relegated to a select group of people.

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