When designing your belt conveyor, the belt itself is a part that is often forgotten. We spoke to Sam, an application engineer who works daily with the construction and design of belt conveyors, about which environmentally friendly options you should consider.
Choose the right one from the start
– Many customers don't even think about choosing a band type when they place their order. We often have to ask our customers what they want. A common answer is: "Choose the cheapest option", says Sam. The choice usually falls on an ordinary PVC belt. Low cost, but maybe not always the cheapest option in the long run.
PVC belts have high intermediate friction, which leads to high wear, and the belt may need to be replaced within a relatively short time. If you choose a more expensive belt but with better durability, it may have five times as long life before needing to be replaced.
– In addition to the fact that it generates less environmental impact, it may even be that the total final cost will be lower with the more expensive belt option in the long run, continues Sam.
What do you really need?
Do a proper needs analysis on your belt conveyor from the start to determine which belt is best suited for your application. If in doubt, ask your supplier for advice. They are specialists in what they sell and can often offer great advice.
Sam gives the tip to order sample pieces of the band if you are unsure. It can be arranged relatively quickly, even if it is a special type of band.
TPO belt without phthalates or halogens
– Tapes that are surface-treated with TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) are PVC-free. They contain no so-called phthalates or halogens. It may be appropriate if the band will be in frequent contact with people. In the food industry, this is a factor to consider, says Sam. Phthalates are additives not firmly bound to the plastic/rubber and can therefore leak out of the material during its lifetime. Halogens are difficult to break down in nature and are flammable.
End drive instead of centre drive
– I can't help but mention end drive instead of centre drive when we talk about sustainability and belt conveyors, says Sam. It has nothing to do with the belt itself, but by choosing end drive on your belt conveyor, it takes about half as much material to make.
This leads to lower weight and fewer components. It will be easier to ship and lower in purchase price. A simple thing to choose, if possible, for your application, which has a large total environmental impact.