Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hey GrinderGuy, do I really need a belt scraper?

WHEN Magazine March 2013

Hey GrinderGuy, do I really need a belt scraper?

  Unless you like losing money, you need a belt cleaner.

  Belt cleaners keep material from building up on belts which if not done will cause the belt to track off center.
What happens then?
Well if the belts tracks far enough off center, the rubber skirting does not contain material any longer and rock, stone, dirt or other debris will fall off the conveyor and make its way into the tail pulleys. This causes:
- Belts to track even further off center which can make the edge of the belting rub on roller supports or the frame of the conveyor. 
- The belt to start wearing the edge and will start to tear at the belt splice. 
- A worn splice to start to loosen and your belt to become loose on one side which will make belt adjustment very difficult and starts lessening the life of your belt.
- Large Rocks to get into the tail pulley and punch a hole into the conveyor or in the belt splice
- Material to build up around bearings and causing failure.

  Along with all those possibilities, if material builds on top of the conveyor belting, the belt will track off center and start causing all those problems also.
  So with all these potential issues, maintaining a belt cleaner will save you time and money.

  Most belt cleaners are made of rubber and press against the belt as it passes by and scrapes material from the belt.
Others are made of plastic or even steel. Some have automatic adjustment while others need some weekly maintenance which is easily done.

  One troublesome issue are chevron or cleated belts. Because of the raised rubber on these belts, a scraper cannot be used. In these cases, a brush type cleaner works best. By adjusting the brushes so that the bristles are just touching the belt, this literally sweeps material from the belts. But these do not work well in wet sticky materials which cause the bristles to get filled with material and plug up.

  I saw an advertisement for a self powered brush cleaner. This brush cleaner was powered by a 1 or 2 horsepower motor which turns the brush opposite the direction of the conveyor. This seems to me that less pressure would need to be used which would extend the wear life. 
Check it out here- http://www.martin-eng.com

Take the time for a little maintenance and save yourself some money.

Questions? Dave Whitelaw 
GrinderGuy@askthegrinderguy.com

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