The most common cause of conveyor belt damage is the transfer of sharp conveyed material. Other reasons include: skirting improperly adjusted or made of the wrong material; material hang up in or under the chute; clogged or misaligned rollers; material spillage or build up; or excessive belt sag between idlers causing the load to work and shuffle on the belt as it passes over idlers.
As the conveyor belt is the most important component in efficient bulk materials handling (as well as the most expensive) this means identifying small problems, obstacles or belt damage as they arise. Install a belt rip detector after the loading zone as an early warning detector of belt damage.
How to Prevent Belt Damage
Install Belt Support
The transported material impacting the conveyor can cause damage to the idlers, conveyor structure as well as the belt damage. Belt support should be located underneath the belt at the transfer point to support the belt and help absorb the impact of the conveyed material. Belt support beds will also decrease the tendency of any sharp edges piercing the belt.
Select Effective Sealing
To have an effective sealing at the edge of the belt requires a combination of belt support, wear liners, skirting and edge seals. A flat, stable sag-free belt line in the skirted area is essential in successfully sealing the belt. Correct sealing and support will also protect the belt from entrapment damage.
Ensure Belt Alignment
In order for a belt to track “true” in the centre, idlers and pulleys should be aligned, levelled and square to centre line prior to loading the belt. In order to install belt tracking or training devices, the belt needs to be monitored in order to identify any problem areas that cannot be solved by making adjustments.
Install Belt Cleaning Systems
Choosing the correct type of belt cleaning system will improve belt life and ensure against premature component failure. However, a poorly installed or maintained conveyor belt cleaner can also cause damage to the belt. Correct installation, maintenance and monitoring of belt cleaners are critical in the prevention of carryback and belt damage.