A cleat is an upright profile attached to the top surface of belts to increase load capacity on incline systems.
Belt cleats come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and compounds. Generally, the cleat must be made of the same compound as the belt to achieve a good bond for long service life. In the belting world PVCs (polyvinyl chloride), RMVs (rubber modified vinyl) and urethanes comprise the majority of thermoplastics used. These compounds, when precisely heated, will “melt” and then fuse together as they cool. When properly done, these two heated surfaces will become as one – creating a sturdy thermoplastic cleated belt for your application.
Before your belt is melded together, Mi Conveyance Solutions can customize it to meet your needs based on application requirements. Here are three things to keep in mind:
1. There are Many Ways to Bond Thermoplastic cleating
Thermal Welding: With this method hot air is forced against the cleat and belt, and pressure is applied to ensure 100% bonding – a simple procedure performed on very sophisticated machinery. This method is the fastest, most economical bonding technique, and is used whenever feasible.
HF Welding: This method also fuses the cleats to the belt by heating them, however the heat is generated internally as the HF excites/heats the molecules in the cleat and belt. Stronger bonds and intricate cleat patterns are possible using this method, however it often requires special, custom tooling.
Did you know? HF (high frequency) welding is also known as RF (radio frequency) welding.
Cold Bond: This method is simply cementing the cleat to the belt. While a tried and true method, cold bonding is the last option we recommend. It’s used only when the cleat layout pattern cannot be produced using either welding method.
2. There are Multiple Styles to Choose From
T-Cleats: Usually made of a PVC compound, these cleats have a broad base, and are at a 90° to the belt surface. Heights range from 1/2″ to 4″ tall.
C-Cleats: Also known as a “scoop cleat,” this is the same as a T-cleat except the cleat is “bent” over to 65° from belt surface. This cleat is available up to 3″ high.
Lug Cleats: A lug cleat is a common term to describe a square cross section or when using a V-guide as a cleat. Most sizes are available in PVC and urethane.
Thin Line and Footless Cleats: Designed for small pulley conveyors, these cleats are generally only available in urethane and use the HF welding method. Although thinner than PVC T-cleats, these cleats are very durable and cut resistant. Depending on size and style required, thin line and footless cleats are available in white, black, blue, beige, green, and clear.
3. Modifications and Customizations Are Available
Cleats can be modified by indenting, making cutouts/notches, or tapering the ends. There is no “standard” cleat pattern. Every cleated belt is a custom design driven by the requirements of the conveyor system.
No matter what your application requires, we have the capability to provide the thermoplastic belt cleat you need. Looking for more options? Contact us today to start the conversation.