Solution found for cleaning conveyor belts installed with mechanical belt fasteners.

We were recently requested by a customer in an underground coal mine, to come up with a solution to clean their conveyor belt. They experienced a breakdown and had to join their conveyor belt with mechanical belt fasteners. Therefore, they were forced to drop their belt scrapers as they would have been damaged by the fasteners. As a consequence of not having any scrapers on the belt, they were faced with major spillage, which in turn was impacting on the continued operation of the belt.

Read on to find out how we went about finding a solution for cleaning this belt without the use of traditional scrapers.

The customer was faced with a damaged 1200 mm wide conveyor transporting coal from the crusher feed conveyor to the sizing screens. In order to get the belt urgently up and running, the belt was joined with a mechanical 2E Type belt fastener. The mine’s maintenance team proceeded to install the fasteners in an effort to bring their damage convey belt back into operation. Now, as you and I both know, if you change one thing on a conveyor installation, it can quite easily affect other areas. And in this case, it did. The conveyor system included secondary Tru-Trac Razorback Scrapers. The bolt fasteners that were installed are not scraper friendly, so the scraper had to be dropped to prevent any damage to the scraper or mechanical joints.

The conveyor was running coal with high moisture content and due to the scraper now being disengaged, this resulted in large amount of carry back. Mountains of coal quickly built up and begun to overwhelm the cleaning crew. The situation was not good. We were contacted by the mine in question, inquiring about any potential solutions as their spillage had become a huge problem.

They explained to us that the fasteners used to repair their damaged belt were installed in a rush and were slightly protruding, therefor the use of any conventional tungsten type scraper was out of the question. The solution we suggested was unconventional but proved to work well.

Tru-Trac has developed a segmented polyurethane secondary blade called the U-Tip. The general use of the U-Tip is to prevent top cover damage on the edges of the belt when the conveyor belt is cupping. The section of the belt that is cupping will then run over the polyurethane U-Tips and this prevents the edges of the belt from getting damaged.

The solution that we came up with to solve the customers belt cleaning problem, was to fit the polyurethane U-Tip blades across the full length of the secondary scraper. Thereby forming a unique secondary scraper incapable of damage to the conveyor and the clips, but still able to provide a sufficient amount of clean to the belt.

This kind of creative set-up was never meant to last as long or clean as good as conventional tungsten type secondary tip scrapers. however, it was an emergency request and the solution was a stopgap to provide some relief to reduce the large amount of carry back that the customer was experiencing.

This temporary scraper set-up run for approximately 2 weeks until the client had received the correct type of conveyor belt for the insert to be done via hot splice. Wear on the U-Tips was surprisingly very low and had only worn down by approximately 4mm over 2 weeks. The blades were able to withstand the damage that was caused by the mechanical belt fasters, which had rough protruding bolt heads, yet the U-Tip scrapers still managed to clean the conveyor belt.

Once the new conveyor belt section was inserted and the incorrectly installed fasteners were removed, we reinstalled the tungsten tips on the scraper and removed the Tru-Trac polyurethane U-Tips, which went straight into the customer’s storage, to be used just in case of another emergency.

We were able to successfully provide relief to the mine, ensuring operations could continue. The belt was kept relatively clean during interim set-up and when it came time for the new belt section to be inserted, we were able to easily reinstall the original Tru-Trac secondary Razorback tungsten scrapers and reinstate 100% belt cleaning efficiency.