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Conveyor Overview

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Conveyor Belt Installations and Related Components

CONVEYOR OVERVIEW.
Basic Introduction
A troughed belt conveyor comprises an endless, rubberized flat belt (a) suspended
between pulleys at either end and supported along its length by a number of rotating
idler rollers (b). The belt is driven via one of the pulleys (usually the head pulley (c)) and
the tension in the belt is maintained by using a sliding pulley (d) which is tied to a
gravity take-up unit (e).

The material (f) is loaded onto the conveyor at the tail-end via a chute (g) and is
transported along the carrying-side (h) to the head-end where it discharges into a
discharge chute (i) which guides the product onto the downstream equipment.
Impact idlers (j) are located at the loading point to support the belt where the load
impacts onto the belt as it is dropped down the loading chute.
Once the material has been discharged from the carrying belt, the return belt (k) is
guided back to the tail pulley on return idlers (l).
The impact, carrying and return idlers are spaced at different intervals dependant on the
load that they are to carry. On the carrying-side, the mass of the belt plus the load
conveyed is greater than the mass to be supported on the return-side and thus, for the
tension in the conveyor belt (by the take-up and induced by the drive unit), the idler
spacing is selected accordingly. This 'sag' in the belt between the carrying and return
idler sets must therefore be designed on the basis of the heaviest load that the conveyor
is to transport.
Snub pulleys (m) are sometimes incorporated into the design of a conveyor in order to
increase the angle of wrap (n) of the belt on the drive pulley. The greater wrap angle on
the pulley allows more power to be introduced into the belt as is passes around the drive
pulley without slip occurring. In this way, fewer drives are needed on longer conveyors
or conveyors with high conveying loads.
Types of Belt Conveyors
The term 'troughed' belt conveyor originates from the form of the carrying belt within
the supporting idler sets and differentiates this conveyor from alternative bulk handling
belt conveyor types which include 'Pipe', 'Sicon', 'Sandwich', 'Pocket or Sidewall',
'Cablebelt', 'Square', 'U-con' conveyors, etc.
Examples of these different types of conveyors can be seen below.

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Conveyor Overview

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The type of conveyor to be used in any particular application depends on a number of


factors including the conveying route, properties of the material to be transported,
environmental considerations etc.
Fig. 1 shows a general and most commonly used horizontal belt installation with all the
various items of equipment that make up the complete installation. The guards are left
out for easy identification of parts.
Horizontal Conveyor Arrangement

Fig. 1
Fig. 2 shows a more complicated incline belt installation for longer belts and where the
discharge end is higher than the feed end. Fig. 2 also shows that the head pulley will not
always be the drive pulley as shown in Fig. 1
Conveyor Belt Installation Running at an Incline with Gravity Take-Up

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Fig. 2
Installation / Maintenance
Before assembling the conveyor components, a centre line for the conveyor installation
should be established. This centre line should be used for the erection of the supporting
structure. The centre line of pulleys, troughing idlers and return idlers will be the centre
line of the belt and must be on the centre line of the supporting structure. The
transverse axis of idler frames, return idlers and pulleys must be at right angles to the
centre line of the belt and should be set with a spirit level for horizontal levelling. Ample
clearance must be provided between moving parts and adjoining fixtures.
After the belt is installed and running properly, ammeter readings and the belt speed of
the empty belt should be taken and recorded. These readings can be used as a standard
of performance to determine whether the belt conveyor is operating normally at a later
date.
Conveyor belt installations are individually designed for different applications but, if not
erected correctly, can cause serious operational problems that will lead to unnecessary
production delays. Proper alignment and levelling of the conveyor components will
ensure proper belt operation.
Applications for Troughed Belt Conveyors
Troughed belt conveyors are used extensively throughout the bulk materials handling
industry and examples of applications where this type of conveyor is commonly used are
listed below (click thumbnail for images) :-

Short plant conveyors - horizontal, inclined or declined.

ii

Long overland conveyors - straight or curved.

iii

Reversible conveyor.

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Conveyor Overview

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