I often get asked questions about conveyor belting and the best conveyor belts to use for an application. With that, I wanted to list out a few items I always consider when the question comes up!
The first question to ask is what kind of belting to use? There are several different options when it comes to conveyor belts, and each has its own benefits depending on the application.
Some of the most comment options are called modular or plastic conveyor belting. Just as the name suggests, modular or plastic conveyor belting are made with a series of long, narrow modular plastic segments which are interlinked to form a continuous belt.
One of the primary advantages of using modular plastic conveyor belting lies in their durability. Fabric belts can sometimes tear, however, with modular belt’s hard plastic segments, this cannot happen. The plastic’s durability over other belt materials also gives modular belts an edge over many alternatives in terms of load capacity, resilience in harsh environments, and resistance to wear.
If a modular belt gets damaged, there is a chance that you can replace only the broken modules or segments, reducing downtime and repair costs versus a continous fabric flat belt that if damaged, would require replacement of the entire belt.
For applications where a rigorous standard of cleanliness or sterilization, like food processing or pharmaceuticals, plastic modular belts are perfect. The modular belts are more easily cleaned and sanitized than many other styles or types of conveyor belting.
The next questions: What manufacturer and materials are needed to meet the application demands?
My go to manufacturer is a company called Safari which was started back in 2005 by Chris Smith who knew how to bring a better product to market quicker, and with better service, than the competition. Safari is efficient, nimble, innovative and dedicated to being known as the value leader in the conveyor belting market for both direct replacement and new installations.
As far as materials – many of the standard types and properties are listed below:
Ultra-Tuff: Ultra High Impact Resistance, Excellent Chemical Resistance, Excellent Abrasion/Cut Resistance, Low Coefficient of Friction, Heat Resistant, FDA Approved
Acetal: Moderate Impact Resistance, High Belt Pull Strength, Good Abrasion/Cut Resistant, Low Coefficient of Friction, Temperature Range -50F to 200F, FDA Approved
Polyethylene: High Impact Resistance, Good Chemical Resistance, Good Product Release, Maintains Properties in Cold, Temperatures, FDA Approved
Polypropylene: Good All Purpose Material, Good Chemical Resistance, Heat Resistant, FDA Approved
I would like to specifically point out Safari’s Trade Marked Ultra-Tuff resin as a product I like to use when the going gets tough! This is a newer high-performance belting resin that utilizes an “eco-friendly” polymer with great wear and thermal properties, along with FDA and NSF approval.
If you have questions specific to this or any belting products, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.