Belt damage can occur in a number of ways, including impact damage, entrapment damage, belt-edge damage and belt-cleaner damage.
Impact damage is caused by large, sharp lumps striking the belt. Entrapment damage is created by friction between the material on the belt, the belt surface and the bottom of the skirt board when the belt sags. Belt-edge damage is caused by the mistracking of the conveyor belt into the conveyor structure. Belt damage caused by belt cleaners can be due to poor application or lack of maintenance of the belt cleaner.
The conveyor belt is the most important component in efficient bulk materials movement and it is also the single most expensive component in the conveyor belt system. Damage to the conveyor belt shortens its life and cuts into profits. While all conveyor belts will wear out over time, to ensure reasonable return on investment, damage should be avoided where possible.
The bulk solids impacting the conveyor can cause damage to the idlers, structure and the belt. An impact bed is located underneath the belt at the impact zone and it is designed to support the belt and helps absorb the impact of falling material. Impact beds also decrease the tendency of sharp edges of material piercing the belt.
To have an effective sealing at the edge of the belt requires a combination of belt support, wear liners, skirt boards and edge seals. A flat, 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.
In order for a belt to track in the centre, idlers and pulleys should be aligned, levelled and square to centre line prior to loading the belt. The correct loading of the belt should be distributed in the centre of 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.
Belt cleaners are an important conveyor belt cleaning accessory. They prevent carryback which reduces efficiency, increases maintenance costs, reduces plant safety, reduces product quality, shortens belt life and leads to premature component failure. Fugitive material may bury idlers, conveyor components, or structural supports, requiring costly clean-up labour and replacement parts. 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.