Conveyor Belting Design and Construction

Belt conveyors are standard equipment for moving dry bulk solids. And the actual rubber conveyor belting can be their biggest strength and their greatest weakness. The capacity of a belt for durability and functionality begins with the design and the manufacturing process.

Belt Design

To move a steady object along a horizontal plane requires only a flat strip of rubber. But most bulk material handling is not that simple. Loose material cargo isn't easily contained on a completely flat belt. When inclines come into play, which are common for bulk material handling, belts must convince a wide range of materials with varying degrees of flowability to stay put as they are moved along the slope.

The solution to this dilemma has been to create innovative conveyor belt structures that can be specialized for different types of materials and different angles of incline. The following features have been key to making belt conveyors indispensable for hundreds of industries.

Flexible sidewalls - Sidewalls are essential to keep product from sliding off the sides of the conveyor belt. Some conveyors have used static walls built into the structure of the conveyor, but this can create drag for the product as well as allow small particles to fall through gaps between the belt and the conveyor. Flexible sidewalls attached to the belt in a serpentine path are able to bend around the end wheels of a conveyor, closing any gaps and allowing the sides to move with the belt itself. This provides for much higher load capacity and better containment of product.

Textured surfaces - Raised ridges or nubs along the surface of a belt create friction that keeps product from sliding backward as it moves up an incline. Belt surfaces can be designed based on the volume of material to be carried and the angle of incline required. Cambelt offers a range of belts with specialized textures. The Camflex, for example, uses nubs several inches tall that keep even products with high flowability in place at 45 angles.

Cross-cleats - These are tall cleats that span the width of the conveyor belt, essentially creating compartments along the belt to securely hold loose materials. Cross-cleats allow for conveying very free-flowing materials and large chunks along extremely high angles, even 90 in some cases. Cambelt's CamWall belt also supports attachable buckets to carry higher load capacities vertically.

Belt Manufacturing Process

How a belt is made greatly affects its durability over time. Many belts are made of several layers of rubber and other material glued together. Cleats and sidewalls are also glued on. These belts may function well at the beginning, but they're prone to delamination with use. Every point where glue is used on a belt is a relative weak spot. Sidewalls and cleats will detach and the belt itself will separate. This weakness can, and often does, lead to frequent downtime as belts are repaired or replaced.

The alternative is molding the entire belt together including cleats and sidewall as one homogeneously cured piece of rubber. This is a more complex process, but the result is a conveyor belt that lasts three to five times as long as laminated belting. This is the process Cambelt uses to manufacture our belts at our own factory in Salt Lake City, Utah. Homogeneously cured belts are so superior that we guarantee our conveyor belts will never delaminate. Of course that's easy to say when we don't laminate our belts to begin with. Many customers come to Cambelt to replace belting on existing conveyors from other manufacturers simply because they know the difference in value they receive with our conveyor belting.

Whether you need belting to improve efficiency or replace a delaminated belt, or you need an entirely new belt conveyor system, Cambelt can help.

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