Conveyor belts are tremendously versatile pieces of equipment, and a wide variety of manufacturing, industrial and agricultural concerns make good use of their ability to convey bulk materials quickly and efficiently. However, while modern conveyor belts are very durable and capable of working under pretty extreme conditions, they are far from invulnerable, and neglecting your conveyor can lead to frequent mechanical problems and severe drops in efficiency and productivity.
The phenomenon known as 'carryback' can be particularly damaging to conveyor belts if not guarded against effectively and many conveyor belts are fitted with scrapers to prevent this problem from occurring. Though simple in form and function, these scrapers can be enormously effective when well chosen, and any business that operates one or more conveyor belts frequently should seriously consider investing in them.
What are conveyor belt scrapers?
When the materials your conveyor belt carries reach the end of the belt, a portion of the material can remain behind, stuck to the conveyor belt while the bulk of the material passes on to the next stage of processing. This residual matter is carried underneath the belt and back towards the machinery the drives the belt -- as you can imagine, this can be very damaging to the mechanisms of your conveyor belt.
Scrapers are used to prevent the occurrence of carryback and consist of a solid blade that is positioned directly on top of the belt. Made from tough materials such as aluminium or thermoplastics, this scraper effectively removes residue and particulate matter from the surface of your conveyor belt before it can be carried back, protecting your belt's mechanical systems from damage.
How can belt scrapers increase the working life of my conveyor belt?
Protecting your conveyor belt's driving mechanisms from damage caused by solid matter is one of the most effective ways to prolong its life, and a belt fitted with suitable scrapers can be expected to last far longer than one without. They are particularly vital additions to belts that handle heavy bulk materials, such as mined ores and aggregates. These materials are notorious for leaving abrasive residues on conveyor belts, which can infiltrate engine components and other moving parts to cause severe mechanical damage.
Fitting scrapers to your belt can also prolong the life of your belt's driving engine(s), and allow them to run more efficiently. This is because scraping the belt clean also reduces its effective weight, placing less stress on the belt's engine and moving parts. A thin layer of rock dust or other fine particulate matter may not look like it has much weight to it, but over the length of an industrial-scale conveyor belt, the accumulated weight of all that dust can become very substantial, so scrapers are particularly useful for large-scale conveying operations.