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Types of Conveyor Belt Mechanical Splices

Mechanical fasteners for bulk material handling belts are available as hinged fasteners or plate fasteners, with options within each group.

Hinged Fasteners

In hinged-fasteners splices, a strip composed of top and bottom plates joined on one side by metal loops is placed on each of the two belt ends. These strips are attached to the belt by staples, bolts or rivets. The belt is then joined by passing a linking pin through the alternating hinge loops.

Hinged fasteners are usually supplied in continuous strips to fit standard belt widths. These strip assemblies ensure proper spacing and alignment. The strips are fabricated so pieces can be snapped off to fit non-standard belt widths.

A spliced belt is shown using hinged fasteners.
Supplied in continuous strips to match the belt width, hinged fasteners are joined together with a linking pin.

The chief advantage of hinged fasteners is that the belt can be separated by removing the linking pin. This way the belt can be shortened, extended, removed from the structure, or opened to allow maintenance on conveyor components.

Hinged fasteners provide several other benefits. Installation on the two belt ends can be done separately and even preformed off-site. While it is not a recommended practice to join belts of different thicknesses – because of problems it can create, including sealing, tracking, and cleaning – hinged loop fasteners would allow different thicknesses of belting to be combined using fasteners matched to their respective belt halves.

Solid-Plate Segments

A second type of mechanical splice is performed with plate fasteners. This class of fastener makes a strong, durable joint with no hinge gap for fines. Plate fasteners are effective in the most rugged conveying applications in mines, quarries, and steel mills. In applications where the belt is thicker than 22 millimeters (7/8-in), plate fasteners are the only choice for mechanical fastening.

Solid-plate segment fasteners are intended for permanent joints only and are not recommended for belts in applications that require opening of the joint to change belt length or location. Solid-plate segment fasteners are typically provided as individual pieces packed loose in a box or bucket. The plate segments are installed from one belt edge to the other using stables, rivets, or bolts.

A spliced belt is shown using solid-plate segment fasteners.
Supplied in continuous strips to match the belt width, hinged fasteners are joined together with a linking pin.

Bolted solid-plate fasteners have some unique advantages. They can be applied diagonally across the belt to allow use on pulleys that are smaller than the size recommended for the fastener. They can also be installed in a V-shaped pattern, which may be the only choice for using fasteners to join thick, high-tension belts designed for vulcanization.

One problem with bolt-fastened solid-plate segment fasteners is that they typically use only two bolts on each plate, with one on each side of the splice. Tightening down on the end of the splice means the leading and trailing edges are more compressed than the middle of the plate. This allows the middle to crown, creating a wear point in the fastener and in belt cleaners or other systems that contact the belt as it moves on its path through the conveyor.

Riveted solid-plate fasteners are designed for the most demanding, highest-tension applications. The multi-point attachment on each side of the hinge provides the highest holding power of any mechanical fastener. They can be installed without power tools, using a hammer to set the rivets and break off any heads above the belt. This is an advantage in remote or underground locations.

A problem arises if the conveyor uses pulleys that are smaller than 300 millimeters (12 in.) in diameter. In this case, solid-plate fasteners may be too large to bend around the pulley, causing components of the splice to pull out or break.

Topics: Basics of Belt Conveyor Systems

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