Finding a Durable Belting Cover Compound for Material Handling

Many material handling applications utilize extrusion machinery. The belting used for this process must be durable, long-lasting, and reliable to ensure that projects are completed safely, efficiently, and on-time.

However, many material handling companies encounter issues with their belting, including short life spans or rapid deterioration. To prevent such setbacks, businesses should use belting cover compounds designed to withstand the environment, maintain longevity, and fit their specific application.

At Belt Corporation of America (BCA), we recently assisted a client — Central Sticks, a manufacturer of wooden sticks for ice cream and ice pops — who was dealing with extrusion belt issues. This ultimate need for this customer was a usable and lasting solution cover solution that would not delaminate or fall apart.

Case Study

The Problem

Central Sticks’ belts, which were covered with molded Linatex®, were delaminating and wearing down far too quickly, requiring replacement every few hours, causing excessive downtime and added costs. The company was seeking a longer-lasting, and a more durable solution.

First, they tried an abrasion-resistant compound with increased hardness for the belts. However, because the pulley for this application had a small diameter, the belt was still deteriorating. Using Gummy Correx Amra, belt longevity increased up to 24 hours, but this compound provided too much hardness.

durataq-blog-postThe Solution

Our team began testing BCA DuraTaq™ compound on the belts. A 100-percent natural rubber polymer (polyisoprene), DuraTaqwas molded onto base belts to create a seamless cover

Compared to other rubber compounds, DuraTaq™ provided great abrasion resistance and tear strength while also being soft enough to handle the high frequency of bending.

Results

Using DuraTaq™, Central Sticks’ belts now have an even longer lifespan. This enhancement led to decreased downtime, reduced costs, and a smooth, reliable extrusion process.

Learn More

Since 1985, Belt Corporation of America has been manufacturing OEM and custom belts and cover compounds for a wide range of industries. We can also modify cover surfaces through grinding and routing, as well as hole punching and pocket and slot machining.

To learn more about how BCA’s custom modification capabilities and tailored client solutions can help you address your belting issues, contact us today.

 

 

 

Reinforcement Options for Timing Belts

Timing belts have a series of evenly spaced teeth on the inside circumference, making use of positive engagement between two sets of meshing teeth in order to prevent slippage and minimize relative motion between the elements in mesh. However, most timing belts rely on some sort of reinforcement to add strength to the belt. Four of the most common materials are steel, Kevlar, polyester, and fiberglass. 

Steel

Steel has an impressive tensile strength of 360,000 lbs/sq.in., as well as a low elongation rate. This makes steel an excellent option for rapid start/stop operations. Because of its excellent dimensional stability, steel is also a good choice for extreme temperature environments, both high and low. However, it should be noted that steel has low vibration absorption capabilities.

Kevlar

Kevlar reinforced belts offer positive, nonslip, accurate power transmission without any unwanted vibration, chatter, or backlash. They have impressive shock resistance capacities and a very high load capacity. Kevlar boasts a tensile strength of 400,000 lbs/sq.in., and also has a fairly low elongation, making Kevlar reinforced belts durable and flexible. Kevlar is an excellent option for applications that involve high intermittent shock loading.

Polyester

When compared to Kevlar and Steel, polyester does not have as high of a tensile strength. The tensile of polyester is roughly 160,000 lbs/sq.in., less than half of that of Kevlar. However, the major advantage of polyester is its low modulus of approximately 2,000,000 lbs/sq.in. This means that polyester reinforced timing belts rotate more smoothly, making polyester reinforcement an ideal option for timing belts in applications such as small diameter pulleys or any kind of high-speed application. Polyester is also quite elastic, meaning it has excellent shock absorption capabilities and can minimize unwanted vibration. 

Fiberglass

Fiberglass has a tensile strength comparable to that of steel, at 350,000 lbs/in2. It is high-strength, low-stretch, and boasts a 100 percent elongation recovery. It also has excellent dimensional stability and an excellent chemical resistance, which make it a good option for corrosive environments.

Timing Belt Reinforcement with Beltcorp

Belt Corporation of America has years of experience providing reinforcement options for industrial belts across a variety of different industries. Contact us today to learn how we can provide you with the exact materials that you need for your application.

Case Study: Stamping Mylar Balloons

A manufacturer of Mylar balloons approached Belt Corporation of America with a unique problem. Their balloons were made on a large piece of equipment that stamped sheets of Mylar to create the balloons. In a short amount of time, the belts were growing worn and damaged due to the abrasive stamping procedure. Belt Corporation of America was asked to make an improved belt with better performance and a longer service life.

mylar_baloonsThe customer was originally using a fully endless felt belt with a silicone cover. The belts were not only expensive, but their supplier could only provide a 40A durometer silicone. This durometer is similar to the hardness of a pencil eraser. As a result, the stamping blades would sink easily into the silicone cover during production, damaging the belt. The manufacturer wanted to maintain a silicone cover on the belt, but could only keep the silicone if it had a harder durometer that could withstand the abrasive stamping motion of the equipment.

To meet the customer’s demands, the team at Belt Corporation of America was able to work with one of its material suppliers to create a silicone with a durometer of 50A, which is between the firmness of a pencil eraser and a car tire tread. This new material was tougher than the original and more resistant to cuts. The balloon manufacturer has found the silicone to be superior to their previous cover.

At Belt Corporation of America, we were able to go above and beyond the capabilities of typical suppliers to find a solution to our customer’s issues. The new belt that we produced was not only more efficient but also less expensive than the belts that the customer had been using in the past. We were able to meet the customer’s requirements and deliver cost savings, customized service, and high quality at the same time.

Case Study: Improving the efficiency of a Food Packaging OEM

Belt Corporation of America helped one OEM in the food packaging industry increase production by making their equipment more efficient. In this case, the OEM had issues accommodating larger packages using their vertical form fill seal machine for potato chips.  Our role was to refine the belts on the equipment, making it faster and more productive.

plastic-bag-thumbA form fill seal machine is a three-in-one piece of equipment that makes bags, fills them with product, and then seals them. It relies on a pair of belts to pull the bags through the machine to complete the process. The problem with the OEM’s machine was that it could not maintain its normal speed of production with a larger bag. The OEM  was not making enough bags, and came to us looking for a way to address this issue.

To solve the problem, we selected a pair of belts with a high coefficient of friction and designed it with a row of vacuum holes. This reduced slippage made it easier for the distributor to increase the speed of production and create more bags. The belts were also more efficient at pulling the larger-sized bags through the bagging machine.

Belt Corporation of America has years of experience with using belts to improve and solve manufacturing issues. A positive outcome of our success with this project is that we are still in touch with this manufacturer today. As this case illustrates, we have the expertise and knowledge to design high quality, practical belts for a number of different applications.

Basic Belt Design Criteria

As with most design processes, when considering the design of a belt, there are some key questions that have to be addressed initially. For example, what is the final application of the belt? Will it undergo high torque or high speeds? Next, what type of belting is under consideration? Is it going to be a timing, flat, poly-v, or v-belt, and what will be the final dimensions of the belt? The belt speed, pulley diameters, and the desired top and bottom coefficients of friction are also critical considerations, as well as environmental concerns like heat, oil, chemicals, and product pollution.

flat-belts01Once these fundamental questions have been answered, it’s time to consider mechanical system design and components criteria, materials of construction, along with mechanical, thermal, nominal and momentary safety factors. On-going maintenance—procedures, tools, and service schedules—must also be factored into the design process. Instrumentation to monitor the belt driven system, such as alarms and shutdown mechanisms, should also be examined, as well as warranties and the availability of spare parts and components.

Finally, always be mindful of those variables that affect the efficiency of any belt: loads, speeds, drive component temperatures, humidity, air density, and wind velocity, to name only a few. You must also determine critical design factors such as center-to-center shaft distances, speed of the operating equipment, speed ratios, shaft sizes, and transmitted horsepower.

Taking the time to properly evaluate every aspect of belt design is critical for its efficient, long-term, and safe operation. Following up with regular preventive maintenance will ensure the smooth operation of all your equipment that utilize belts.

Consider your belting supplier thoughtfully. Make sure they are knowledgeable and experienced in belting applications for your industry or application, can provide guidance and have the proper quality control measures in place, since mistakes made in the selection of belts can adversely affect your bottom line.

 

Basic Design Criteria
  1. What belt type is being considered? (timing, flat, poly-v, v-belt)
  2. Belt size and dimensions? (width, length, thickness)
  3. Belt speed? Desired top and bottom coefficient of friction?
  4. Are there any environmental concerns? (heat, oil, chemicals, product pollution)
  5. What is the application? ( motion control, robotic)
Criteria
  1. Environmental factors
  2. Duty cycle & life cycle
  3. Mechanical system design and components criteria
  4. Materials of construction
  5. Safety factors – mechanical, thermal, nominal, momentary; duration
  6. Maintenance including procedures and tools
  7. Warranties
  8. Shipping & packaging
Variables that Affect Efficiency Load on belts, speeds, temperature of drive components

(motor), humidity, air density, wind velocity and others

Must determine center-to-center distance, operating equipment speed, speed ratio, shaft sizes, and transmitted horsepower to fully understand the efficiency

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