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If material is loaded onto a conveyor belt in the correct manner, you can considerably extend the belt’s useful life. Check to see that your company employs all of these recommended procedures for properly loading material onto a conveyor belt:
1. ENSURE PROPER CHUTE AND SKIRTBOARD PLACEMENT
The chute is the part of the conveyor that places the material on the belt. When loading material onto a conveyor belt, consider using skirtboard rubber. Skirtboard rubber helps minimize material from spilling at loading and transfer points. Chutes and skirting must be securely fastened to the conveyor structure to reduce the possibility of material spillage in any conveyor application.
- The lower the material must drop from the chute to the conveyor belt, the less damage there will be to the belt covers and carcass.
- If the chute is too low, it can cause an obstruction, preventing material from making its way to the conveyor.
- The chute should never touch the belt, although it is acceptable for the skirting to be in contact with the belt.
- Never use conveyor belt as skirting. The exposed fabric plies trap fines and granular material, resulting in severe abrasion and degradation of the belt top cover.
2. IDENTIFY THE PROPER LOADING ZONE
- The loading zone should be set up past the tail pulley, in a location where the belt is completely troughed to ensure that the material will be centrally loaded.
- The loading zone should also be as flat as possible. Loading on the incline increases vibration when the material contacts the belt – increasing the likelihood of cover abrasion.
Did you know? The abrasiveness of the material and the impact of the load are two of the biggest contributors to shortening the life of your belt.
3. BE SURE YOU ARE LOADING MATERIAL ONTO A CONVEYOR BELT IN THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL
Never load material from the side. This can cause the belt to push into the conveyor structure, causing cover abrasion and edge wear over time.
4. MATCH LOAD AND BELT SPEED
When loading material from one belt onto another, it is important to match the load speed closely to the belt speed. This reduces cover wear, decreases spillage/dust formation and requires less horsepower to move the belt.
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