Belt tension is one of the most important things to look out for on a conveyor system when using a belt cleaner. While spending time on maintenance and refurbishing this can sometimes be overlooked. Here we take a look at some of the things you need to think about regarding belt cleaner tensioning.
Over-tensioning the belt cleaner is one of the most common reasons why a conveyor system can become inefficient. It can be believed that the extra pressure results in better cleaning but this is not the case. Over-tensioning doesn’t improve the efficiency of the belt cleaner, but in fact can cause problems that weren’t there already mainly that the blades can wear out faster. It can lead to increased temperatures which causes damage to the belt. The belt is the most costly element of the conveyor system and reducing heat transfer is essential to prolong its lifespan. If operation stops completely, the metal blades can melt the belt and burn through the top layer which leads to unnecessary downtime and extra repair costs.
As over-tensioning can cause issues so can under-tensioning. The lack of tension on the blades can result in chatter or bouncing. This bouncing can greatly reduce the blade’s lifespan as well as increasing carryback in the conveyor system, an ineffective belt cleaner is prone to carryback so the extra can cause belt mistracking and is more time consuming to clean and maintain.
The bouncing can also cause huge damage across the belt’s width, and the chatter marks can get worse and lead to expensive repairs.
Why optimal belt cleaner tension is fundamental
As recognised, over-tensioning and under-tensioning can cause a variety of issues leading to additional maintenance, costs and system inefficiency. This is why it is important to optimise the tension to maintain peak performance throughout. A belt cleaner that is adjusted correctly allows for maximum efficiency by increasing blade life and reducing damage.
Optimal belt tensioning includes routine inspections and tension checks. Regular slight adjustments need to be made. These all ensure the belt cleaner performs safely and efficiently. You can select systems that have an intuitive and straightforward tension check. You can also choose to use an air tensioning system that maintains constant pressure throughout each blade, that monitors the pressure gauge and makes simple adjustments.
This ensures that the belt cleaner is at an optimal tension to maximise the lifespan of the blades. You can opt for a mechanical tensioner, but this requires periodic maintenance as the cleaning blade continues to wear out. Air tensioners are much better since the consistent force on the blade allows for much more efficient cleaning due to the constant pressure.
Having the adequate tension on the belt cleaner, increasing overall productivity and minimises costly repairs and unplanned downtime. Simply maintaining the belt cleaner tension will have a huge impact on performance.