Impeller 3 vs 4 vs 6 blades - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-02-2017, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Impeller 3 vs 4 vs 6 blades

Hi

Long time ago, Ariens used impellers with 4 blades. Later some had six blades and now they have 3 blades like most snowblowers.

In theory, I suppose 6 blades should move more snow. Why most manufacturers use 3 blades on impellers now ?

Do blade number on impellers really change something with snow projection distance ?

Thanks
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-02-2017, 08:50 AM
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I often wondered this myself. My own personal guess is that the benefits simply don't outweigh the cost - it almost has to be the reason because otherwise, they'd do it.

"It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."

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post #3 of 15 Old 12-02-2017, 09:19 AM
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The impeller housing space is a finite number and with more blades it is taking up valuable real estate so to speak, in theory I think one would want the least amount of blades to get the job done. This is a good engineering exercise question as to what works best and why and as usual would defer to what the top tier machines use, it being 3 or 4 blades. But in reality cost will be a factor.

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post #4 of 15 Old 12-02-2017, 11:29 AM
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The Ariens Machines with a 6 Blade Impeller have a Larger Diameter Impeller compared to the 24" Machines. In My Experiences with them, The 6 Blade Machines Throw Exceptionally Well.
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-02-2017, 12:15 PM
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Talking snowblowers-hack, cough, gag, and impeller paddles

Quote:
Originally Posted by legarem View Post

Hi,

Long time ago, Ariens used impellers with 4 blades. Later some had six blades and now they have 3 blades like most snowblowers.
In theory, I suppose 6 blades should move more snow.
Why most manufacturers use 3 blades on impellers now?
Do blade number on impellers really change something with snow projection distance ?

Thanks
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


It all has to do with the amount of available torque to the snow throwers drive train as you are transmitting the
available torque to pulleys with a primary drive pulley to one or more driven pulleys for the snow blowers transmission and the impeller that is also tasked with providing torque to the worm to spur gear drive for the cross augers that feed the snow to the impeller "fan" paddles

To help everyone understand this issue better the reader needs to think of a snowblower-hack, cough, gag, as a pump.

It could be considered a fan and is referred to as a fan by some, but it does not have a high speed of rotation like a true ventilation fan as it has a limited amount of torque available to the impeller paddles due to the
additional need to power the cross augers that feed the impeller.

The use of an extended propeller shaft with a worm gear provides the builder with a very efficient way to provide power to the cross auger assembly that is protected with shear pins.

If a walk behind snowblower had one speed with a high horsepower V twin engine or my favorite the Wisconsin V-4 engine the snow would be no match for the snow blower at any time.

The issue remains that the builder of these machines needs to create a product from the ground up within a specific clearing width and any walk behind self propelled snow blower has an a air cooled engine is required to become a machine that accomplishes three jobs: the first is propulsion, the second is the breaking of the snow pack with the serrated or smooth cross auger, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, and the third job is to rotate the impeller fan paddles at a reduced speed of rotation via the belt drive in most models with the Yamaha YS1028EJ? as an exception.

A two stage walk behind snow blower is essentially an energy sucking vampire that works and is offered at various retail prices for the homeowner or commercial user.

A two stage snow blower creates a lot of friction and heat when clearing snow as the cross auger is cutting and pushing the snow pack forward and the impeller is casting it upward and through the chute and spout to be disposed of.

The amount of built up heat created by the use of a 2 stage snow blower is transmitted to the surrounding area of the snow blowers impeller and the impeller housing and the cross auger simply from the friction created by the rotation of the cross auger.

The three current Yamaha models overcome this by lining the impeller housing and chute with slick sheet material. If all the builders did this it would solve a lot problems for the home owner and commercial user.


ME I hope my snow blower gets stolen as its junk in my opinion and I wish I had a single stage John Deere or an old IHC Cub Cadet lawn tractor with a single stage snow blower like the one I grew up with.

The other issue is the condition of the snow pack or ice and snow that the End Of Driveway Demons leave us after every time the road is plowed and salt is used.

The exceptions are the large walk behind tracked snowblowers made by Zaugg, and the Japanese manufacturers.

If all 2 stage snow blowers were built as was done with our fellow members frankenblower with a V twin engine was installed the issue of torque loss would no longer be an issue.


Me, I would prefer to see a smaller solid cross auger with narrow serrated flighting that would meter a specific amount of snow to the impeller housing. By simply lining the chute and spout with slick sheet material the builders of these things would sell a lot of snow blowers. as the slick lining material would generate more sales as people want to get rid of snow period.



Last edited by leonz; 12-02-2017 at 12:24 PM. Reason: stuff/spelling and punctuation corrections
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-02-2017, 12:49 PM
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Well written leonz. IMHO it is marketing hype. I know that Husky touts a 4 blade cast iron impeller. Torque, torque, torque, pulley design a dual belt drive system like Ariens uses are all good things. A higher capacity 14" impeller is also a plus if you have the power to go with it.

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post #7 of 15 Old 12-02-2017, 01:34 PM
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Thank you for the compliment, I only get worse with much more detail when I talk about flail mowers and how much better and safer they are than bush hogs for grass and brush mowing.


I just wish that they(someone) would make a larger walk behind with a single stage system like our old IHC Cub Cadet with a chain final drive that had a 12 horsepower engine.

The design would be simple enough with a belt drive to the one to one right angle bevel gearbox and a cross shaft to the 40 or 60H drive sprocket and then 40 or 60H size cotter pinned single roller chain to the driven sprocket that would spin the snow blower rotor.

Its a no brainer for me and it would be simple enough;

3,300 RPM engine speed at the crank shaft to a small V belt drive to the right angle gearbox with a the small V belt to bring it down to 5 to 1 being 660 rpm and then to the cross shaft to the drive sprocket where the drive sprocket would be running at 500 rpm and the driven sprocket would be rotating at 300-375 RPM.

The solid snow blower rotor is bolted to external open flange roller bearings on the side weldments just the cubs single stage units were and it had a simple hand crank with a wire cable weaved around the base of the chute in 2 wraps from what I remember of it.


The issue would be the type of transmission and the 4 speed belt driven transmissions would be ideal for this as they have a full reversing transmission on all four speeds.

The large Toro recycler mowers 48 inch-60 inch have belt driven wheels. A track drive system could be used as the the 4 speed transmission allows the operator to brake left or right independently of the other wheel while operating in forward or reverse.












Last edited by leonz; 12-02-2017 at 08:41 PM. Reason: stuff/spelling and punctuation corrections
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-02-2017, 02:32 PM
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My head is spinning now! Lol
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-02-2017, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot Leonz for all these explanations.
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-02-2017, 08:37 PM
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Hello Legarem,

You are most welcome. I doubt that I will every see it but if they employed a pair of impellers and chutes for a walk behinds
cross auger housing the price would scare people and it would be able to clear snow at least twice as fast and throw it twice as far as the loading on the impeller would be cut in half.

An even simpler single stage design would employ Beilhack snow clearing disc with 4 snow scoops and a very small snow and ice breaking propeller in front of the snow disc and it would use a larger V twin engine to spin the snow clearing disc through a five to one reducing gearbox that would allow the snow clearing disc to rotate at <660 RPM at 3,300 RPM.
The chute and spout would have to be larger in open area and have thicker metal to withstand the impact of the larger volume of snow that the snow clearing disc would remove.

Fun to dream anyway.
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