gravity fed

Chute (gravity)

A chute is a vertical or inclined plane, channel, or passage through which objects are moved by means of gravity. Chutes may be round, square or rectangular at the top and/or the bottom.


A chute, also known as a race, flume, or river canyon, is a steep-sided passage through which water flows rapidly.

Akin to these, man-made chutes are a feature of spillways on some dams. Some kinds of water supply and irrigation systems are gravity fed, hence chutes. These include aqueducts and acequias.

Building chute

Chutes are in common use in buildings to allow the rapid transport of items from one location inside a building to another. There can be a concrete lined chute or unlined chute.

For example, laundry chutes in hotels are placed on each floor to allow the expedient transfer and collection of dirty laundry to the hotel's laundry facility without having to use elevators. In popular culture stories, laundry chutes are commonly used as means for the protagonist to quickly escape, the laundry at the chute's base often serving to cushion the hero's fall.

Garbage chutes are common in high-rise apartment buildings and are used to collect all the building's garbage in the one place. Often the bottom end of the chute is placed directly above a large waste receptacle. This makes garbage collection more efficient and hygienic.

Mail chutes are used in some buildings to collect the occupants' mail. A notable example is the Asia Insurance Building.

Escape chutes are used and proposed for use in evacuation of mining equipment and high-rise buildings.

Chutes are used to remove rubble and similar demolition materials safely from taller buildings. These consist of a chain of cylindrical or conical plastic tubes, each fitted into the top of the one below and tied together, usually with chains. Together they form a long flexible tube, which is hung down the side of the building. The lower end of this tube is placed over a skip or other receptacle, and waste materials are dropped into the top.

An elevator is not a chute since it does not operate by means of gravity.

Chutes in transportation

Goust, a hamlet in southwestern France, is notable for its mountainside chute that is used to transport coffins.

Chutes are also found in:

  1. Hopper cars
  2. Hopper barges

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