Choosing the Right Conveyor Belt

The belt is the main part of a conveyor belt. It is a flexible component stretched between two rollers and set in motion by one of them.

The product, placed on the belt, is thus moved by the movement of the belt. Conveyor belts are used in various industrial sectors, such as logistics, food production, and pharmaceutical manufacturing, as well as in heavy industries such as quarries.

Technical characteristics depend mainly on the nature of the product being transported and the conditions of use.

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  • What are the main criteria for choosing a conveyor belt?

    Hong’s Belt conveyor belt

    When selecting a conveyor belt, it’s essential to consider the nature of the products being conveyed, as well as the conditions of use.

    Specifications of transported products:

    • Weight: Product weight is one of the major aspects to consider when choosing a suitable belt, as excessively heavy products can lead to deformation or even failure of the conveyor.
    • Size: The dimensions of your product must fit the surface of the belt because a product that is too large can get stuck in the conveyor. That’s why it’s essential to carefully check the length and width of the belt and compare them with those of your product before making a decision.
    • Type: The type of belt you choose must be appropriate for the product transported. For example, if you plan to transport items with sharp edges, corrosive products, powders, or chemicals, you’ll need a belt adapted to these types of products to ensure belt durability. In the food industry, in particular, it’s essential to choose belts that comply with strict hygiene standards.
    • Temperature: Products at extremely high or low temperatures can damage your belt if it is not adapted.

    Conditions of use: The conditions under which the conveyor belt will be used must be taken into account in your choice:

    • Incline: The movement of the conveyor belt is important. If the belt moves up or down, the product placed on it may shift, slip, or even fall off. To avoid this, the belt should be fitted with cleats to hold your product in place.
    • Environmental conditions: The type of environment in which your conveyor belt will be placed must be taken into account before purchasing. Some belts made from certain materials may not withstand extremely high or low temperatures. Similarly, if your business requires your product to be baked in an oven, you need to choose a belt adapted to these particular conditions.
  • What are the main conveyor belt materials and their applications?

    The conveyor belt material you choose is crucial to ensure optimum performance and durability in a given environment. Your choice will depend on your specific application, working environment, the nature of the materials transported, and economic constraints. The materials used for conveyor belts vary widely, and each offers distinct advantages and limitations.

    Rubber is one of the most commonly used materials for conveyor belts, thanks to its versatility and durability. It resists abrasions, cuts, and tears, making it ideal for transporting heavy or sharp materials. Rubber can also be formulated to withstand extreme temperatures, chemicals, and oils, making it suitable for industries such as mining, construction, and waste treatment.

    PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is another material frequently used for conveyor belts, particularly in the food industry, where hygiene is a major concern. PVC belts are easy to clean and resistant to chemicals and moisture. They are also less expensive than other materials, making them an economical choice for many applications.

    Polyurethane (PU) is preferred for applications where durability and flexibility are required. It is particularly resistant to wear, cuts, oil and grease. PU belts are often used in the food and pharmaceutical industries and in the processing of bulk materials where contamination must be avoided.

    Fabrics such as nylon, polyester, and cotton are also used to manufacture conveyor belts. These materials offer good tensile strength and are suitable for transporting light to medium loads. Fabric belts are often used in the paper, printing, and textile industries.

    Metals, such as steel or stainless steel, are used in applications requiring high resistance to heat or corrosion. They are often used in foundries, industrial bakeries, or for transporting hot materials.

    Composite materials such as glass- or Kevlar-reinforced belts, are used in applications requiring exceptional tensile strength and low elongation. These lightweight belts can withstand very heavy loads, making them ideal for the aerospace industry.

  • Are there conveyor belts with special shapes?

    Conveyor belts come in a variety of shapes and specifications to suit the transport of particular products.

    Herringbone belts: Designed for conveying products up or downhill.

    Trough conveyor belts: These are rubber belts supported by curved rollers that give them a hollow shape. This type of belt is used for conveying bulk products such as grain, cereals, fertilizers, etc. These belts are often used in the agricultural and food-processing industries and in the processing of bulk materials. Troughed belts with cleats are also available.

    Plastic modular belts are another special shape that offer great flexibility and ease of maintenance. These belts are made up of interconnected plastic modules that can be easily replaced in the event of damage or wear. This modularity is particularly advantageous in industries where hygiene is a priority, such as food processing, as they can be dismantled and cleaned with great ease.

    Cleated conveyor belt

    Trough conveyor belt

  • What other points should I bear in mind when choosing a conveyor belt?

    Capacity: Expressed in tonnes/hour, this is calculated by taking into account the material to be conveyed, belt width and speed, and conveyor inclination.

    Pulley diameter: Be sure to measure the diameter of the pulley around which the belt runs.

    Tensile strength: Calculating the tensile strength takes into account transport length, speed, possible inclinations, etc.

    Belt rigidity: The belt should not be too rigid because the center might not touch the center roller and be impossible to guide. On the other hand, it shouldn’t be too flexible either, as it could get damaged in the troughs between the rollers.

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