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Conveyor Belt Storage and Handling

The conveyor belt has long been the most economical and most efficient form of bulk-materials handling for many industries. However, if this important part of the plant is to perform as expected, it must be carefully stored and handled from the time of its manufacture until the time of its installation on the conveyor system.

Improper storage techniques can lead to a damaged belt that will perform poorly when installed on the conveyor structure. As the length of storage time increases, and as the size of the roll of belting increases, so does the importance of following the correct procedures. The costs for handling, shipping, and storing the conveyor belt are minor compared to the purchase price of the belt; therefore, the correct procedures should be followed to protect the investment.

3 belts are rolled up and improperly stored directly on the ground.
Storing conveyor belting on the ground is a bad practice that can lead to damage.

The following are the key storage and handling guidelines:

Rolled on a core

As the belt leaves the manufacturer or the supplier, the belt should be rolled carrying side out on a core with a square opening. The core gives the belt protection from being rolled into a diameter that is too small and protection when the belt is lifted through the center. It also provides a means for unrolling the belt onto the conveyor. The core size is determined by the manufacturer, based on the type, width, and length of the roll of belt. The core size can be smaller than the belt’s minimum pulley diameter, as the rolled belt is not in a tensioned state. The lifting bar should be square to closely match the square opening in the core.

A conveyor belt is properly rolled and on a square tube for support elevated off the ground.
Belting should be rolled carrying side out on a core with a square opening.

Properly supported

The conveyor belt should never be stored on the ground. Ground storage concentrates the weight of the roll onto the bottom surface. The belt carcass is compressed in this small area and not compressed equally from side to side. The carcass may be stretched more on one side or the other. This is a likely cause of belt camber, a banana-like curvature of the belt, running the length of the belt.

Under no circumstances should a roll of belting be stored on its side. The weight of the roll may cause that side of the belt to expand, creating camber problems. Moisture may migrate into the carcass through the cut edge of the belt, creating carcass problems or belt camber.

The belt should be supported in an upright position on a stand, off the ground. This places the stress of one-half of the roll’s weight on the core, relieving the load on the bottom. This support stand can be utilized during shipping to better distribute the weight of the belt. The support stand can then be utilized in the plant for storage, or the belt can be transferred to an in-plant storage system that properly supports the roll. It is important that the roll be properly supported from the time of manufacture to the time of installation.

Rotated on its stand

If the support stand is designed correctly, the roll of belt can be randomly rotated every 90 days. This will more evenly distribute the load throughout the carcass. The reel of belting should have been marked at the factory with an arrow to indicate the direction of rotation. Rotating the belt in the opposite direction will cause the roll to loosen and telescope.

Properly protected

During shipping and storage, the roll of belt should be covered with a tarp or wrapped in an opaque water-resistant material. Covering the roll of belting protects it from rain, sunlight or ozone. The covering should remain in place during the entire storage process.

The roll of belt should be stored inside a building to protect it from the environment. The storage area should not contain large transformers or high-voltage lines that may create ozone and affect the belt. The building does not have to be heated, but it should be relatively weather tight.

Lifted correctly

When lifting a roll of belt, a square lifting bar of the correct size should be placed through the core. Slings or chains of the correct size for the weight of the roll should be used. A spreader bar should be utilized to prevent the chains or slings from damaging the edges of the conveyor belt.

Additional guidelines are given in ISO 5285. Belting manufacturers can provide guidance for their specific products.

Topics: Conveyor Belt Mistracking, Conveyor Belt Component Damage, Basics of Belt Conveyor Systems

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