Ports & Terminals: Rusted Transfer Chute

A bulk handling terminal in Theodore, AL., handles inbound shipments of salt, potash, and phosphate from ocean vessels and barges. The transfers involved in this opportunity were on the inbound ship unloading conveyors and are part of the three-year-old section of the plant.

The transfer chutes are aging, requiring upgrades to achieve the following primary goals:

  • Improved equipment life
  • Corrosion reduction
  • Dust and spillage reduction
  • Reduction in labor for housekeeping
  • Reduction in plant maintenance expenditures
  • Reduction in plant Risk Profile based on excessive dust, spillage, and related safety concerns
  • Improved belt life
  • Employee morale
  • Overall safety improvement


The Benetech Solution

Properly designed and maintained load zones will minimize spillage and dust, with reductions up to 90% if the systems are properly designed, installed, and maintained. A properly designed load zone solution will include a belt enclosure, wear liner skirtboards for material containment, dust curtains to disrupt airflow streams and dust escaping the enclosure, and rubber skirting to prevent dust leakage along the sides of the conveyor.

It will also include a belt support system or products. Adequate belt support in the loading area of a conveyor is critical to the performance of the containment system (skirtboard and enclosure above the belt). Minimizing belt oscillation and providing a flat level surface for the belt to be loaded is critical to withstand the impact of the material on the belt during loading.