Industrial conveyor belts carry many different kinds of objects from one area of a manufacturing facility to another, including raw materials, parts, finished products, packaging, bottles and pallets or boxes of goods. It is especially important that industrial belts be strong, durable and resistant to the facility’s environmental conditions, whether those conditions involve moisture, chemicals, oil or extreme temperatures.
Most are fabricated to handle a high pressure and resist abrasion. All conveyor belts must be flexible enough for continuous operation around a series of rollers. Some are fabricated as one piece and are usually made of a bendable rubber or plastic material. Rigid plastic, fiberglass or metal belts are composed of several interlocking or connected pieces. Wire mesh, fabrics like cotton or wool and fiberglass are also sometimes industrial belting materials.
To add support and strength without compromising flexibility, most industrial conveyor belts are fabricated with a core of a different material, which is usually thick fabric like cotton or a plastic web or mesh. It is then coated with one or more outer layers, which is most likely a rubber or plastic material. Flat belts are the most widely seen type.
They are similar to the black conveyors seen at grocery stores. Most belts are driven by an electric motor and must be able to handle continuous use without many breaks. The speeds are variable and each conveyor system had adjustable speeds. Many conveyor systems transport combustible or flammable materials. In this case, the belt must be anti-static so it will not generate an electric shock, which could cause an explosion or fire.
Since inclined conveyor belts are working against gravity, many are made with ribs or cleats and have non-slippery surfaces to deter the materials from falling down the conveyor. Troughed, inclined, horizontal and curved conveyors all use belting of some sort.