Mining Conveyor Belt Comparison

Multi-ply? Straight warp? Steel cord? Something else? There’s more than just these categories of mining conveyor belt types that you need to consider when comparing equipment for your applications. 

Sure, material type plays a huge role in what kind of mining conveyor belt you choose since operations typically occur in more demanding environments, but other factors are important as well. 

Assess and compare the following when choosing a mining conveyor belt: 

  • Size
  • Tensile strength
  • Abrasion resistance

Comparing Mining Conveyor Belt Specifications

Continue reading for a breakdown of the key variables that you should consider when it comes to selecting a mining conveyor belt. 

Mining Conveyor Belt Type

Before we get into some other components, it’s worth it to review the basic belt-types as well as some of their pros and cons.

  • Multi-ply: A belt where its layers are separated by rubber to help with impact resistance; tends to be a long-lasting belt.
  • Straight warp: These belts are fairly impact and tear-resistant, and feature yarn and polyamide in their structure.
  • Steel cord: Steel cables anchor and run the length of the belt.

Mining Conveyor Belt Size

The right mining conveyor belt should be relative in size to the material being transported.  

Mining conveyor belts come in varieties such as:

  • Tensile rubber
  • Nylon
  • Smooth rough top chevron rubber
  • Bottom smooth rubber cover
  • Fabric
  • Ply stacker impact
  • Among others

Width sizes typically range from 200 millimeters up to 2,400 millimeters, while thicknesses range from 400 millimeters up to 2,000 millimeters. Depending on the type of belt that you select, widths and thicknesses may vary.

Make sure that you know which width and thickness are best for your application and tension. Not selecting the proper dimensions can greatly impact productivity.

Mining Conveyor Belt Tension

Another important variable is PIW, or pounds per inch of width. 

PIW measures tension as it pertains to the longitudinal strength that it takes to move the belt and torque required to activate the system. 

The formula to determine PIW is as follows:

HP (System motor horsepower (1+K) 33,000/ S (Belt speed) x W (width of belt)

In addition to the different types of belts, there are also various materials, like rubber and fabric, that are used in its composition.  

Be sure that you very carefully assess the tension of the rubber and fabric (or other material) before you decide on the type of belt that is best for you.

Mining Conveyor Belt Abrasion Resistance

We all know that ripped belts or other issues with the conveyor system result in lost productivity and profits. This is why it’s critical to compare characteristics of each belt to ensure they are suitable for the materials and environment in which they’re running. 

Abrasion resistance is an important factor to keep in mind when comparing and selecting a conveyor belt, especially for conveyors working in mines. 

Fortunately, conveyor quality has improved over the past few years thanks to better alignment technologies, maintenance techniques, rip detection equipment, and a greater level of attention paid to preventative service. 

The most common type of abrasion is the material rubbing against the belt. Hard rock and pellets tend to wear a conveyor belt faster than coal, for example. 

Material density and the speed at which the belt is running can also impact the rate of belt wear. The other type of abrasion is cutting and gouging, usually from jagged or sharp surfaces like limestone, granite, ores, etc.

To determine abrasion resistance, we prefer the DIN abrasion test method, which measures the volume loss of a prepared puck-like object. The puck is weighed before and after the test, and the volume loss is calculated. Obviously, the lower the volume loss, the better it is for abrasion resistance. 

To improve abrasion resistance, you can make adjustments to how the belt is operating. Or you can choose a more durable belt, a different type of belt fabric, or acquire a belt cover.

Comparing Mining Conveyor Belts

Choosing the right mining conveyor belt for demanding applications depends on the careful comparison of the factors discussed here. 

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