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Belt Conveyor Dribble Chutes

On conveyors where the cleaning systems are positioned so the material removed from the belt does not freely return to the main material body, a dribble chute, or fines chute, is usually required. This is a separate part of the discharge chute that directs the removed carryback back into the main material flow. This auxiliary chute must be large enough and designed with a steep enough wall angle to ensure the material falls away from the cleaning system and prevents the encapsulation of the cleaner in these sticky materials. It is advisable to install a dribble chute with an angle as near vertical as possible and to line it with a low-friction material such as Ultra-High Molecular Weight (UHMW) polyethylene. It may be useful to incorporate flow aids to help in moving the carryback material away from the cleaners.

Dribble Chutes
An electric vibrator can be mounted to a sheet of low-friction plastic to create a vibrating dribble chute.

One way to solve the problem of build up on a dribble chute is to create a dynamic sub-floor inside the chute. This can be accomplished by mounting a sheet of smooth, low-friction, abrasion-resistant plastic such as UHMW polyethylene, parallel to the chute floor with one end unsecured, so the sheet is free to move. A vibrator is mounted to this sheet, providing a dynamic action to prevent material buildup. Because this vibrating sheet is isolated from the steel chutework by a rubber cushion, there is very little force applied to the structure to cause metal fatigue. An alternative system could include a flexible curtain or sheet of rubber used as a chute liner, which is periodically “kicked” with the discharge from an air cannon. This flexes the liner, causing any adhered material to drop away.

Access to the dribble chute should be provided to allow personnel to clear buildups and provide a periodic wash down to prevent blockages.

Topics: Material Carryback & Belt Cleaning

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