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9 Conveyor Belts Types and 5 Types of Conveyor Belt Materials

Conveyor belts play an important role in material handling jobs because they can continuously move the materials to meet the needs for product manufacturing or to handle a large volume of material, such as luggage transportation in the airport. 

Responding to the various conveying needs in different sectors, there are many different types of conveyor belts.

This article by Bsbelt Factory will show you an ultimate list of common conveyor belt types and types of conveyor belt materials as well as their applications. 

Let’s start with the 9 types of conveyor belts, which are followed by 5 types of conveyor belt materials.

9 Common Types of Conveyor Belts

1. Flat Conveyor Belt

The flat conveyor belt is a type of continuous-running linear belt. They are usually made of fabric and composite materials. 

With simple structure, stable conveying, and low noise, these belts are the most common and simplest type for transportation between larger center distances. It also boasts the advantages of being easy to use and affordable. 

2. Roller Conveyor Belt

These belts are made up of rollers, the number of which is decided by the material weight, running speed, transport distance, and other factors. Simply put, The longer the belt is, the more features will be added to it.

3. Curved conveyor belt

Curved conveyor belt
Curved conveyor belt

This type of conveyor belt is designed to transport materials around the corners of the workspace, offering a curved angle of up to 180°, which allows users to maximize the use of space.

4. Modular Conveyor Belt

The modular conveyor belt is a composite of numerous pieces, each of which is interlocked to form a whole belt. These modules are made of hard plastic and are easy to clean and maintain as the modular piece can be unlocked and replaced simply. Thanks to the flexible structure and modular, they are fearless of all transportation angles. 

Modular Conveyor Belt
Modular conveyor belt applied in food factory

5. Inclined & Declined Conveyor Belt

The two types of conveyor belts are used to realize the material conveying at different heights. For anti-slip and anti-falling purposes, these belts are designed with a coarse and nonflat surface.

Inclined & Declined Conveyor Belt
Inclined & Declined conveyor belts apply in a fruit factory

6. Timing Conveyor Belt

The timing belt refers to a synchronous toothed belt that shares the same flexible transmission form as a flat belt and V-belt. It is made of steel wire rope and rubber, and its inner side with hard teeth to make it mesh with the toothed pulley. So, there is no relative slide between the belt and the pulley, thus ensuring synchronous transmission and a constant transmission ratio.  

7. V-belt

The V-belt is a type of belt that has V-grooves and transmits higher torque than flat belts but requires less width and lower tension. The V-grooves of belts can be deepened to increase traction if required. They are good choices for lightweight applications.

8. Endless Conveyor Belt

As the name suggests, this type of conveyor belt has neither seams nor joints, continuously running from end to end.

9. Special Conveyor Belt

It refers to a kind of belt that is designed for unique applications or conveying systems, such as a special shape of the sidewall or fin bands protruding from the main band and moving the container quickly. These are used to separate cartons in packaging facilities.

There are also other methods to classify the types of conveyor belts. For example, some users may source belts for their applications or particular needs, like food conveyor belts or anti-static electricity conveyor belts. This will be talking about another topic and this article will go ahead to introduce the belt materials.

 

5 Types of Conveyor Belt Materials

Generally, the conveyor belt consists of two parts: fabric backbone and surface coatings, and the former mainly shows physical properties, the latter chemical properties. 

This section will introduce the characteristics of five different materials which are used most in conveyor belt manufacturing, PVC, PU, PE, Si, and Teflon.

1. PVC Material for Conveyor belts

PVC is a flexible and durable thermoplastic polymer plastic, widely used in various industries. And it is the most common material used to make the coating of belts. 

Benefits:

  • Cost-efficiency

    The material is cost-effective and easy to get, which ensures the PVC conveyor belt is affordable as we all know belts are some kind of consumables in the conveying system. So the price is a vital factor when choosing conveyor belts.

  • Easy to use

    PVC boasts the good feature of being easily shaped or molded, which lessens the difficulty of belt manufacturing as well as the belt reparation in the application.

  • Resistance to acid and alkali

    For its stable chemical features, the PVC conveyor belt can protect it from the corrosion of light acid and alkali contained by the products it transported.

 

Defects:

    • Lower hardness

      The belt of PVC coating is prone to wear in the operation of transportation, which not only will limit its application range, but also increase the maintenance work.

    • Low resistance to oil

      For its bad performance against oil, regardless of whether machinery or edible, its role has been largely cut down in the food industry which has the most demand for belts. Though it boasts a large price advantage.

2. PU Material for Conveyor belts

Polyurethane material is more elastic than rubber and more durable than metal, as well as being oil resistant, tear resistant, scratch resistance, and higher wear resistant.

With so many superior characteristics, PU conveyor belts have been the first choice for many big names in the food industries, such as candy, pasta, meat, seafood, baked goods, etc., 

Benefits:

    • High hardness and wear resistance

      With a Shore hardness of up to 92, the PU conveyor belt is wear-resistant and durable in cutting, which ensures it can convey some tough stuff, like metal parts, and works well in food processing. 

    • Water and oil resistance

      Direct contact with edible oil or mechanical oil, will not impact its performance and lifespan, which explains why PU conveyor belt is widely used in the food industry.

    • Stability

      They maintain stability and the conveyor belt rarely jumps with the vibration of the roller machine during use.

    • Food-grade safety

      PU conveyor belt qualified by FDA has a wide range of applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Defects:

    • Low resistance to acid and alkali

      The acid and alkali resistance of PU conveyor belts is relatively weak, compared with PVC ones.

    • Higher budget

      PU conveyor belts cost comparatively more than PVC belts.

    • Fragile

      They have a probability of getting broken when fail to distribute pressure evenly.

As two of the most common types of conveyor belt materials, we have more to share with you in another article on PU vs PVC conveyor belts for your reference.

3.PE Material for Conveyor belts

Polyethylene is probably the most common polymer in everyday life as well as the most widely used plastic in the world.

Benefits:

    • Food grade

      This is a selling point of the PE belt, it is absolutely food-grade, and the combustion produces water and CO2.

 

    • Good resistance to pyrolysis

      Stable chemical properties, good heat resistance.

    • Decomposition non-toxic

      PE is not only non-toxic to decompose, but also relatively easy to decompose.

Defects:

    • Lower hardness

      and it’s not wear-resistant, PE belts are mostly used in the food industry and pharmaceutical industries, and should not be used in other industries

    • Grease resistance

      and it’s poor in acid and alkali, it is better not to use it on equipment with edible oil and mechanical oil

4. PTFE Material for Conveyor belts

PTFE is polytetrafluoroethylene, a high-performance, multi-purpose composite material.

Benefits:

    • High and low-temperature resistance

      The influence on temperature does not change much, the temperature range is wide, and the usable temperature is -190~260 ℃.

    • Anti-stick surface

      It is not easy to adhere to any substance, and it is easy to clean various oil stains, stains, or other attachments attached to its surface

    • Chemical resistance

      It can resist the corrosion of strong acids, strong alkalis, aqua regia, and various organic solvents.

    • Fire retardant

Defects:

    • Poor loading force and low mechanical properties.

      With small mechanical strength, low hardness, and low elasticity, the elongation of PTFE at break is relatively large.

    •  Poor thermal conductivity.

      The thermal conductivity of PTFE is not good, and its thermal conductivity is relatively low, which will make the material unable to transfer heat to the surrounding medium in time, and will easily cause thermal fatigue, which will greatly reduce the service life of the material.

    • poor wear resistance.

      PTFE wear is relatively large, which limits the application of PTFE

    •  Poor creep resistance.

      Affected by its working environment, PTFE will undergo large creep under long-term loads, and cold flow will occur over time. The cold flow of PTFE also limits its application.

    • The production cost is higher.

5. Si(Silica gel)Material for Conveyor belts

Silica gel is a highly active adsorption material, an amorphous substance.

Benefits:

    • Food-grade safety

      The main reason why the silica gel conveyor belt is usually seen in the food industry.

    • Heat resistance

      It retains stable chemical characteristics even when the temperature is up to 300℃, so a conveyor belt with silica gel coating can bear the daily routine of transporting newly baked cookies or fried chips safely and securely.

    • Anti-stick

      A coating made of silica gel is resistant to sticky products, so to keep the candies and chocolates transported by a Si conveyor belt in good condition for sale.

Defects:

    • Higher price

      Compared with belts of other materials, the silica gel belt will be a little bit expensive.

    • Lower hardness

      Though it is anti-stick and heat-resistant, a lower hardness is the reason why the Teflon belt replaces its role in the oven.

    • Poor passing roll ability

      With bad lateral stability as well as a soft texture, it performs badly when passing a roll, which affects its conveying operation.

Conclusion

This article shows different types of belts as well as belt materials which have not only benefits but also defects that some suppliers won’t display in the product description of the catalog or website. 

Therefore, a better understanding of the characteristics of each type of conveyor belt and its coating allows you to make a cost-efficient choice for your business. For example, when selecting a belt for fruit transportation, we need to consider the need for food contact as well as acid resistance, then the right choice comes out as a PVC conveyor belt but not a silica gel one or a Teflon one. 

If you have other needs besides the materials, such as belts with wall-side, surface patterns, Bsbelt is ready to be your reliable helper in the conveyor belt industry.

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