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Conveyor Belt Cupping

Sometimes the damage to a conveyor belt is as much functional as structural, as in the case of belt cupping. Chapter four of Martin Engineering's Foundations explains that certain stresses will cause a belt to warp, curving up or down on each edge depending upon the specific circumstances.

In this instance, the damage does not necessarily pose any greater risk of tearing or otherwise compromising the belt, but it does drastically reduce the usefulness of the belt. Regardless of what direction the cupping occurs, such a belt will suddenly have much less contact with rollers, making it extremely difficult to keep it moving reliably and on course.

The edges curve up on each side of a conveyor belt.
A cupped belt will not lie down on the idlers.

With downward cupping, the belt is also much more likely to lose materials.


Belt cupping can be caused by a variety of different stressors, ranging from intense heat to overly steep idler troughs to chemicals that cause the contraction or expansion of the belt cover. In certain instances excessive tension in the belt can cause it to curl, which can prove particularly troublesome when the top cover and bottom cover are poorly matched.

Topics: Conveyor Belt Component Damage

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