INTRODUCTION TO CONVEYOR BELT DAMAGE AND REPAIR
In our post “Mining & Quarrying: Belzona’s Top 5 Application Areas” we listed the repair of damaged rubber components and equipment as one of the top application areas in the Mining industry. This type of problem is regularly associated with conveyor belts in particular and conveying systems as a whole. Primarily, conveyor belts are exposed to excessive wear as a result of the materials they transport and the friction generated from the rough sliding and impact of these hard materials. As part of their design, the equipment surfaces are expected to absorb some of the energy this impact, yet jagged and sharp material can still penetrate the rubber material, tearing and splitting the conveyor belt.
The use of conveyor belts and systems is quite extensive across many industries: mining, pulp/paper, food processing, pharmaceutical, agricultural, automotive, packaging, and much more. Failure of the belts and/or components of the conveying systems may cause production halts and jeopardize product quality.
Traditional repair solutions
The most traditional rubber repair technique within the industry is vulcanization. This comprises heat and pressure being applied to rubber components, creating a strong chemical bond. Whilst this does offer a long-lasting repair, the process too frequently relies on very specific environmental conditions and equipment. Altogether, vulcanization requires time for a specialized crew and equipment to be brought on to the site, necessitating long shutdowns.
These shutdowns can be costly and inefficient, especially when heavy industrial belts are capable of moving over 5,500m3 (194,231ft3) per hour when fully loaded. That’s enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool in just less than 30 minutes!
Cold cure resins offer an alternative and distinctly different solution. They can be applied in situ without specialist tools, thus eliminating the need for hot repair processes. This ensures a fast return to service. Moreover, they offer a versatile repair where durability and elasticity, as well as good abrasion and tear resistance, are required.
Drawing: Ripped Conveyor Belt Repair with Belzona 2311
VIDEO: HOW TO REPAIR A CONVEYOR BELT WITH BELZONA 2311
For this repair, we used Belzona 2311, Belzona 2911, Belzona 9341 (Reinforcement Tape) and some tools form our machine shop. The repair did not require a disassembly of the belt. First, the tear was terminated by drilling holes at each end of the tear. The rubber was then undercut and the top layer was removed. The substrate was abraded until a wooly finish was achieved. The area under the tear was taped to prevent the product from leaking through. Belzona 2311 was thoroughly mixed and applied over the tear firmly to ensure an optimal bond with the substrate. Additional material was applied to a pre-cut piece of the reinforcement tape, which then was embedded over the repair area and encapsulated with remaining mixed material. Once the product cured, the belt was out back to service.