Home ENGINEERING 3D Animation How a Traction Elevator Works

3D Animation How a Traction Elevator Works


Come learn how a traction elevator work! We’ll also explore history and different types of elevators.Traction elevators are raised and lowered with steel ropes or belts which run over a wheel and work with counterweights on a pulley system. Motors are also used for efficiency to help the drive system work at higher speeds.

source.image: Jared Owen

An elevator is essentially a platform that is either pulled or pushed up by a mechanical means. A modern-day elevator consists of a cab mounted on a platform within an enclosed space called a shaft or sometimes a “hoistway”. In the past, elevator drive mechanisms were powered by steam and water hydraulic pistons or by hand.

In a “traction” elevator, cars are pulled up by means of rolling steel ropes over a deeply grooved pulley, commonly called a sheave in the industry.


The weight of the car is balanced by a counterweight. Sometimes two elevators are built so that their cars always move synchronously in opposite directions, and are each other’s counterweight. The friction between the ropes and the pulley furnishes the traction which gives this type of elevator its name.