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Belt Conveyor Skirtboard Construction

The strength and stability of the skirtboard are very important to its success. Many times conveyor skirtboard is supported by cantilever brackets that are not rigid enough to withstand the impact of material or the vibration of equipment. This risks a structural failure that endangers the belt and the transfer point itself.

The thickness of the skirtboard must be sufficient to withstand side pressures that may occur when the chute becomes plugged or the belt rolls backward. As it is located close to the belt, any movement of the skirtboard must be prevented to minimize the risks of damage.

Skirtboard Construction
Skirtboard must be properly supported, and the support structure must be far enough above the belt to allow access to the sealing system.

Except in very light applications, the minimum thickness of mild steel used for skirtboard construction should be 6 millimeters (0.25 in.). On belts moving over 3.7 meters per second (750 ft/min) or 1300 millimeters (54 in.) or more wide, the minimum thickness should be 10 millimeters (3/8 in.). For applications with belts moving over 5 meters per second (1000 ft/min) or 1800 millimeters (72 in.) wide, the minimum thickness should be 12 millimeters (0.5 in.).

Skirtboards should be installed on structural steel supports on approximately 1.2 meter (48 in.) centers so the supports do not interfere with the spacing of, or access to, belt support cradles and idlers. The most common support design is an angle iron "A-frame," installed on approximately the same spacing as the carrying idlers. These "A-frames" should be rigid and well gusseted, and they should be installed far enough above the belt to allow easy access for the adjustment or replacement of the skirtboard seal.

At least one "A-frame" should be positioned at the beginning of the skirtboard and another at the end. Closer spacing should be considered in the conveyor’s impact zone to the extent of doubling the support structure.

There are minimum sizes of angle iron that need to be used to construct these "A-frames". These specifications are best suited for low density, freeflowing materials. For belt feeders, or for handling high density materials like ore or concentrate, heavier steel and closer spacing is required.

It is important that proper clearance be provided between the bottom of the skirtboard supports and the belt to allow room for the installation and maintenance of a skirtboard seal and clamp system. The minimum clearance between the horizontal support and the belt at the skirtboard wall should be 230 millimeters (9 in.).

If there is dynamic vibration in the system caused from either belt movement or other operating.

Machinery such as breakers, crushers, or screens, the skirtboard may need to be isolated from it.

These recommendations are for standard conveyor installations and normal duty ratings where the belt is approximately waist high and the idlers are standard width. For other applications, such as "double height" skirtboard or severe conditions, additional support structure may be required. A conveyor or structural engineer should be consulted for advice on skirtboard thicknesses and required supporting structures.

Topics: Material Spillage

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