Troubleshooting Belt Cleaners

Belt Conveying Optimised

Troubleshooting Belt Cleaners

Optimising Productivity rather than fixing Breakdowns
In today's mining industry optimized productivity is of paramount importance also in the field of material conveying. This requires belts with clean and undamaged surface. Following please find five points to ponder with regard to belt cleaners.
(ed. WoMaMarcel - 12/7/2014)
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Correct Sizing and Profiling

Experience has shown, that approximately one in three cases of premature wearing belt cleaners is caused by incorrect profiling of the cleaner against the conveyor belt.

With most of the cleaning required in the centre of the belt, where the majority of material is being conveyed, (assuming tracking is acceptable), this is the location where most of the wear in the cleaner will occur.

Over time, a wear pattern occurs, parabolic in appearance similar to a “smile”. This is due to the parts of the blade contacting the clean sections of the belt and not wearing in comparison to the centre, therefore restricting the rest of the blade from adjusting itself closer to the head drum. Combined with the fact that the belt cleaner may be trying to remove conveyed material from the belt rather than left over carry back, causes the issue regularly witnessed and discussed.

In the event of this occurrence, it is suggested that sections be cut off, where the smiling is starting to form (see opening picture). This will provide a more even cleaning edge, prolonging the blade’s wear life and increasing overall cleaning efficiency.

Adjustment of the Cleaner Tension

Lastly, the tensioning of the belt cleaner is a key performance factor, and often confused part of cleaning the conveyor efficiently. A common misconception is that if more pressure is applied to the blade, better results will be achieved. This statement is only partially true. Previous studies have shown that over-tensioning of the cleaner increases frictional drag on the belt, decreasing the wear life of the cleaner whilst also increasing the overall power consumption of the conveyor.

If fasteners have been added to the belt to fix tears, over-tensioning the belt cleaner may result in the cleaner being damaged or the fasteners being forcefully removed, further damaging the valuable conveyor belt.

Some belt cleaning systems have centralized torque transmitters, engineered to self-adjust and maintain an evenly distributed yet concentrated pressure on the centre of the belt, where the majority of the cleaning is required.

Conclusion

Correct belt cleaning should never be an overlooked element in conveyor maintenance. If a well engineered cleaner is installed correctly, considering these five factors, not only will the cleaner get optimum life but so will the other associated conveyor componentry, the valuable belt and structure of the conveyor itself. The role of maintenance is transformed from fixing breakdowns to optimizing overall productivity, placing the maintenance function at the heart of the quality improvement process.

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