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Conveyor Belt Technical Notes

These Tech Notes have been collected from various sources which relate to the proper fabrication and operation of flat conveyor belting, recognizing that following production of the belt, independent fabricators/distributors must customize the product for customer use in a variety of applications and utilize a variety of operating equipment. These notes are intended to only be used as a guide. Please refer to the NIBA legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page for more details.

Belt Camber

If unbalanced warp tensions exist in a conveyor belt, that belt will usually assume a crescent or banana shape when laid flat upon a horizontal surface. This deviation from a straight line is hereby defined as camber.

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Belt Storage and Shipping

Modern conveyor belts are very durable products, but they can be adversely affected by improper storage and shipping practices. The basic recommended practices for belt storage/shipping are as follows:

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Conveyor Belt Tracking Guide

BASIC RULES I. The basic, and primary rule of tracking a conveyor belt is simply "THE BELT MOVES TOWARD THAT END OF THE ROLL IT CONTACTS FIRST." II. The conveyor structure must be "TRUE" (relative to center-line) and LEVEL (side to side).

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Dust Suppression Systems

The necessity to control dust in industry and mining has spawned a number of dust suppression systems. Many such systems exist today. It is likely that these systems will find ever wider acceptance in the marketplace.

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Fire Resistant or Flame Retardant

Safety requirements in conveyor/elevator belting applications where fire and/or explosion are a consideration frequently involve:

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OSHA/Grain Belt

GRAIN HANDLING FACILITIES: FINAL RULE Everyone involved in the handling of grain and/or feed should be aware of the new OSHA regulations as detailed in The Federal Register of December 31, 1987. You may obtain a copy of the OSHA regulations from your industry associations or from The Government Printing Office.

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Minimum Belt Tension

WHAT IS PROPER MINIMUM BELT TENSION? Proper minimum belt tension is the tension required so that a given belt conveyor or belt elevator system will operate properly in its environment.

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Compound Comparison Guide Conveyor Belting

Compound Cross Reference By Manufacturer (Heavy Duty Belting)

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Static Electricity Considerations

NATURE OF STATIC ELECTRICITY Static electricity is defined as electrical charge at rest. It can be generated by the triboelectric effect and can be accumulated by conductive and inductive charging.

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Impact Resistance of Belting

Many different methods exist to measure the impact resistance of belting. However, there is no standard test method for measuring impact... consequently, there are no minimum standards.

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Conveyor Belt Polymers

A wide variety of polymers are used in conveyor belts, providing the various properties that the many types of applications require. All of the polymers have basic properties that are well known and well documented. However, the polymers are never used in their pure form in conveyor belts. Rather, they are used in compounds, which mixes them with other materials so that the end products have enhanced properties.

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Conveyor Belt Repair Options

It is generally recognized in bulk materials conveying that optimum belt life has been achieved when belt cover and carcass wear out at about the same time. If a belt must be removed from service because of carcass breakdown or injury and much cover thickness is still in place, some of the cover life is wasted.

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During the course of preparing conveyor belting to be spliced or repaired, it will become necessary to perform buffing and cleaning operations. This is intended to serve as a general guideline when performing those operations.

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Establishing Centerlines and Squaring Belt Ends for Splicing

Crooked flat belt splices cause a number of operational problems that probably could be avoided if accurate centerlines or square lines had been established when the splices were made. All flat belt splicing requires careful establishment of reference or cut lines that ensure that the belt alignment will be straight through the splices. In vulcanized splices, this applies to a number of lines on both belt ends, all of which are referenced to a centerline or transverse line that is truly accurate. In mechanical fastener splices, this applies to the transverse cut line on the two ends to be joined. There are some mechanical fastener splices that are made at an angle, and these also require establishment of an accurate transverse line.

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Splicing Tools for Hot/Cold Splice, Fabric Ply Belt or Steel Cable Belt

The procedure in splicing conveyor belts will vary slightly among manufacturers, but the steps and tools will remain relatively constant. The main difference is between fabric plied belt, versus steel cable belting.

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Conveyor Belt Modulus of Elasticity

Belt modulus is a measure of a belt’s resistance to stretching. Frequently, the degree to which a belt stretches in a given application is a problem source. Understanding the belt modulus values and their use can help us recommend the proper belt. This understanding can also help provide a solution in a problem situation. It is useful to remember that the higher the belt modulus value, the lower the belt elongation or stretch will be at any given tension.

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Purposes of V-Guide Notching

V-guides are often applied to the back surfaces of conveyor belting. This is usually done to assist the belt’s ability to track on conveyor systems. Many times these guides are selected for wide width, short center conveyors that are notorious for having belt training problems. Design engineers often specify v-guides be used when take up mechanisms are not easily manipulated to center moving belts on head or tail pulleys.

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Arrangement of Edges when Belts to be Spliced Together are Cut from Wider Slabs

Belts that are slit from wider manufactured slabs may exhibit a systematic tracking characteristic of running to one side of the conveyor. Such condition is usually easily accommodated by normal training procedures. However, when two or more lengths of belts slit from wider slabs are spliced together to form longer belts, this systematic tracking phenomena may present a problem: the lengths of belts may track off to alternate sides, making training for a single condition impossible, and perhaps preventing effective training of the resulting belt.

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Metric Specifications for Conveyor Beltings

Although the English system of measurement is still prevalent in the United States, metrification has been adopted in virtually all other industrial nations.

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Troubleshooting Belting and Conveyor Component Problems Related to Material Buildup

The following is a quick guide to common problems along with solutions for reducing material buildup on belting and conveyor systems.

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PIW, EP, ST: What’s the Difference

You are busy at your desk when the call comes in asking for your equivalent of a 4 ply EP 3800 conveyor belt. Your response is of course "NO PROBLEM, I'LL MAKE A QUICK CONVERSION AND GET RIGHT BACK TO YOU." After hanging up you realize the problem is deeper than it first appeared. Should your answer be given in PIW, EP, or ST rating? Does the Safety factor need to be taken into consideration? Questions, questions, questions!

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Curve or Turn Belts

A growing number of applications require the use of curve or turn belts. Due to the nature of the application, considerable precision is needed in order to achieve accurate dimensions of the belt. In addition, the strength (warp) in the conveyor belt must always be in the running direction.

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Abrasion Resistance of Conveyor Belts

Abrasion resistance of conveyor belt covers is one of the most important properties of a belt. As conveyor systems have improved in quality in recent years because of better maintenance, alignment, and rip detection systems, premature or catastrophic failure has been reduced and gradual wear of the belt covers become a more common form of belt change out.

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Standards and Standards Organizations

What are standards? Standards are documented agreements containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics, to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. Therefore, International standards contribute to the reliability and effectiveness of the goods and services we use.

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The Basics of Lightweight Conveyor Belting

The overall belting market share for lightweight conveyor belting has increased modestly over the past couple of decades. The primary reasons for the increase are process automation, market globalization, and competition. Process automation has resulted in increased demands on belting that often require the properties of a lightweight belt design. Globalization and competition have influenced equipment manufacturers to keep up with the latest in lightweight, low cost and energy efficient designs. The move toward faster process and transport speeds, combined with compliance to increasingly strict standards in areas such as noise and sanitation, has favored the growth of lightweight belting.

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Introduction to Plastic Modular Belts

Since their introduction more than thirty years ago, the popularity of plastic modular belts has grown steadily. Constructed of injection-molded modules and hinge rods, plastic modular belts are positively driven and tracked by plastic sprockets. This positive drive and tracking system eliminates slippage, preventing damage to the belt's edge and the potential for product contamination or premature belt failure.

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Flat Power Transmission Belting

Transmit Power One of the basic tasks for transmission belting is for transmitting power from a source to a driven pulley. This is done through friction between the pulley and the belt, which is transferred through the belt’s core or strength member by way of surface contact and tension.

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