The conveyor belt is the workhorse of the load zone. It serves production goals with great endurance and resilience in moving tons of bulk material nonstop over long distances for extended periods.
As it continues performing within often demanding conditions, the conveyor belt will inevitably develop and encounter obstacles that can affect it as well as other system parts and areas.
To get greater service and life from the conveyor belt, operators need to be vigilant about keeping it clean. In particular, they must prevent carryback, the fugitive material that sticks to the belt beyond the discharge point and remains on the bottom side of the belt, rollers, or pulleys.
In addition to creating multiple health and safety risks, carryback can form a crown or raised portion on a pulley, making the belt misalign. As the mistracked belt keeps drifting, it will induce even more-serious spillage and dust. This will further increase hazards while demanding more company resources for housekeeping and maintenance.
Operators can avoid the problems of material build-up with a well-engineered conveyor belt cleaning system.
How to Keep Conveyor Belts Clean
Different operations face different carryback challenges according to their applications. Steel, gold, aggregate, and fertilizer, to name but a few, will often require their own belt cleaning strategies.
Whatever the bulk material might be, well-engineered conveyor belt cleaners keep the belt as clean as possible by removing excess material that builds on and clings to it. An optimal conveyor belt cleaning system will usually include two conveyor belt scrapers: a primary belt cleaner and a secondary belt cleaner.
BEP1 – Our best selling primary belt cleaner
Mounted to the head pulley below the material flow, the primary belt cleaner – also referred to as a pre-cleaner – scrapes excess material from the conveyor belt. In particular, it removes the larger pieces that constitute two-thirds of initial carryback.
Ideally, the primary belt cleaner will be made of a durable material such as urethane, which will act similarly to a metal blade–type scraper without metal’s risk of damage to the belt. The belt cleaner should offer adaptable mounting with a modular, compact design as well. Its profile will provide a varying attack angle to reduce blade-edge bull-nosing. A torsion tensioner also will self-adjust to maintain steady cleaning as the blade wears.
BES1 – Our best selling secondary belt cleaner
Located right past where the belt leaves the head pulley and anywhere else down the belt line, secondary belt cleaners scrape whatever material remains on the belt beyond the head pulley, especially fines.
Like the primary belt cleaner, the secondary blade can be made of material such as tungsten carbide or rubber. To avoid build-up, the correct secondary cleaner selection will depend on the conveyor belt’s characteristics.
With a secondary belt cleaner installed, the conveyor belt scrapers can achieve a cleaning efficiency of greater than 90%. By eliminating carryback and keeping belts clean, high-performing belt cleaners make conveyor systems both safer and more productive.
Belt cleaner blades (including replacement blades) can be customized to a bulk material handling system’s distinctive variables, including:
- belt width & speed
- application temperature
- type of belt splice
- bulk material characteristics
- head pulley diameter
- one-way or reversing belt
An effective conveyor belt cleaner system might also include specialty cleaners such as:
- motorized brush cleaner for grooved, ribbed, and chevron conveyor belts
- plow/plough cleaners such as a diagonal plow and a V-plow for material that gets pinched between the belt and the return pulley
Clean Conveyor Belts Are Good Business
Bulk material handlers that are committed to a thorough, precisely engineered conveyor belt cleaning system reinforce their operational objectives in multiple ways:
- Greater profitability. Operators know the impact that extra housekeeping and maintenance can have on the bottom line. Minimizing or eliminating carryback significantly lowers the time, effort, and cost of dealing with fugitive material.
- Safer work environment. Spillage and dust from excess product create multiple dangers. Workers can easily slip and fall when navigating through spillage. Airborne dust can cause vision and respiratory problems and can even ignite an explosion.
- Longer-serving conveyor components. Carryback often makes its way into the conveyor system, where it can damage rollers and idlers while causing the belt to mistrack. By clearing equipment and the area of fugitive product, a belt cleaning system helps prevent early wear and extends service life.
- More kept material. Because they scrape the conveyor belt at the head pulley, belt cleaners keep a much greater amount of bulk material flowing in the proper direction through transfer points and into containers.
- Reduced energy costs. When bulk material sticks to the head pulley, the extra weight forces the equipment to work harder and draw more energy. A clean conveyor belt can work much more efficiently and notably lessen energy costs.
Benetech: Your Ally in Bulk Material Handling
As bulk material handling specialists, the engineers at Benetech understand what can stand in the way of safety and production at your specific facility. Our conveyor belt cleaning systems represent the best of our knowledge, experience and technology in resolving carryback problems. To learn more about how we can solve yours, contact us at +1(630) 844-1300 to speak with a specialist.