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Three Primary Failure Mechanisms of Conveyor Belts

Most conveyor belts are created to transfer products in a straight direction. Others, alternatively, move and transport products by directional changes and elevation. The differences in the direction, elevation, and speed allow the conveyor belts to sustain the movement of the products.

The continuous processes that are being generated by conveyor belts can affect their overall service life. Conveyor belts that are being inspected and maintained all the time are expected to last for a long time. Alternatively, those that are used without regular maintenance have a higher chance of failing. There are instances, though, that the failure of conveyor belts is primarily caused by their design issues.

Generally, there are three primary failure mechanisms that conveyor belts may obtain.

Yield Failure

Yield normally happens whenever an object is loaded to the point where it cannot revert to its initial state. And with conveyor belts, yield failure may happen whenever some metal parts have already deformed due to wrong application or presence of damaging elements. Aside from the mentioned reasons, yield failure among conveyor belts can also happen due to accidents, wrong installation, and overloading.

Deformed metal parts and components within conveyor belts may affect their performance since most of them cannot work anymore. Fortunately, these issues can be avoided if people working on these pieces of equipment will follow the loading recommendations of the belts’ manufacturers. Additionally, choosing conveyor belts with high tensile strength can prevent yield failure.

Fatigue Failure

Fatigue may happen whenever an object is subject to cyclic loading, which may contain some tension. For conveyor belts, the cyclic loading normally comes from repeated infeed and discharge of product. It can also happen whenever the direction of the feed changes frequently. The tension of the catenary sage can likewise cause cyclic loading, which then triggers fatigue among conveyor belts.

Addressing this specific failure can be done through increasing the diameter of the turns in the circuit, reducing the said turns, and decreasing the overall belt tension. One thing, however, that must be considered about resolving fatigue is that the belt often has a limited service life. The changes on the belt’s life can be affected easily by its installation, use, and involved materials.

Wear Failure

The continuous motion between two or more contacting surfaces is known as wear. When an object encounters wear, its surfaces often erode, which can then affect its overall look and functions. There are two types of wear failure that can happen in conveyor belts.

Abrasive wear is one of the wear failures that may happen in conveyor belts. This type of wear happens whenever a harder material chips off some parts from a softer material. One cause of abrasive wear is the rubbing of the misaligned belt against other portions of the equipment. To avoid abrasive wear, the operator of the equipment should ensure that hard foreign objects will not interact with softer wear strip materials.

Adhesive wear, alternatively, happens when two materials are separated by their relative motion. For metal conveyors, this type of wear normally occurs internally. As two components move relative to each other, the weldment tends to break away and form particles. If these particles are not removed, then they can lead to abrasive wear.

If you have more concerns about conveyor belts, feel free to contact us at Hawk Machinery.