Belt conveyors are the most used transport machines. They are used for horizontal or inclined transfer of goods and materials between two points.
There is almost no branch of industry in which belt conveyors have not found application. We can see them as an auxiliary tool in the automotive, aircraft, computer and electronic industries. Also in the cement industry and wood industry, then in steel mills, quarries and asphalt bases. Then, in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, in the production of food and beverages. They are an important part of every printing house, while mining is not possible without them. Their use is important because they are used in both underground and surface exploitation.
When were belt conveyors created?
Since ancient times, there has been a need to transport materials, especially during construction. Thus, ancient peoples used logs as rollers to transport stone blocks during the construction of palaces and temples. It was they who served as the idea for the creation of belt conveyors.
The first conveyor belts were made of wooden rollers and leather or canvas belt that ran over them. At first, they were only used to transport bags of grain over short distances. It was not until the end of the 19th century that significant development took place. With that, the use and the weight of the loads they could carry were expanded.
In 1892, the American inventor Thomas Robins constructed the first conveyor belt or belt conveyor, as belt conveyors are also called. It was intended for carrying coal and other ores. The Swedish company Sandvik started the production of steel conveyor belts in 1901. Four years later Irish engineer Richard Sutcliffe developed a revolutionary belt conveyor for use in coal mines that changed the mining industry.
A step further came in 1913 when Henry Ford introduced the conveyor belt at his Ford Motor plant in Michigan.
What are belt conveyors?
Belt conveyors are continuous transport machines. They can transport loose and lumpy loads on horizontal and inclined (slanted) surfaces.
The very large application of belt conveyors is made possible by a number of its advantages, such as: simple construction, large capacity, quiet and noiseless operation.
In practice, they are mostly used for transporting: coal (in all forms from coal dust to large pieces), sand (wet and dry), grain (wheat, corn, etc.), cement, crushed stone, piece cargo (sacks, packages, boxes, etc.), briquettes and many other things.
What is the capacity of belt conveyors?
The capacities of belt conveyors that transport waste materials reach values of several hundred tons per hour, and in special cases up to 1000 t/h.
The length of the conveyor can be more than 500m, and the length itself is limited by the strength of the conveyor belt.
The maximum possible inclination of the conveyor depends on the type of material being transported.
Division of belt conveyors
Basic division of conveyors:
- By shape: flat and grooved,
- By tape type: with rubberized, metal, or reinforced tape,
- According to the method of pouring the material: pouring on the end drum or pouring on the gap between two drums
Lumpy and fine-grained materials can be dosed onto the conveyor via funnels and gutters, then with a rotary feeder or screw conveyor.
The largest conveyor produced in Eing is 70m long and 1000mm wide.