3 Basic Conveyor Belt Tracking Rules To Follow

02 Sep.,2022


heat resistant conveyor belt

coal mine conveyor belt

Conveyor belts are frequently blamed for belt tracking problems and in most cases this is unjustified. The failure cause is usually to be found in the installation itself and may be the result of poorly adjusted pulleys and rollers, incorrect application of belt tracking measures or faulty design. It is therefore essential to be fully aware of the basic characteristics of the different belt tracking measures and for these to be employed correctly.

A distinction needs to be made between basic and additional measures for belt tracking. The former are appropriate for maintaining a correctly aligned belt in its central position as long as no great external influences are exerted on the belt, such as transverse forces. The latter are necessary when the basic measures alone are either insufficient or inappropriate to control belt tracking sufficiently.

Regardless which measures are taken, the following conditions are essential for problem-free belt tracking:

  • The supporting structure must be rigid and stable. It must be able to withstand all the forces acting upon it (belt tension, weight of the conveyed goods, uneven floors, etc.).
  • All pulleys and rollers must be fitted at right angles to the belt running axis. Adjustable pulleys and rollers are only to be adjusted after the belt has been properly run in.
  • All parts of the installation that come into contact with the belt are to be protected from dirt and soiling and to be cleaned if necessary

What happens if a conveyor has no tracking measure at all?

Where a belt runs over cylindrical pulleys that are at right angles to its directional path, then the forces acting upon it will be parallel to the running direction of the belt. No tracking forces are exerted on the belt.

In fact, the belt is running in a state of unstable equilibrium and would run off immediately if subjected to the slightest external factors such as off-center loading of product, dirt between belt and pulley, belt distortion or lateral feeding or diverting of goods.

The same scenario applies if one or both of the two pulleys are not positioned accurately at right angles to the belt running axis. The belt will inevitably run off towards the less-tensioned side.

Tracking rule 1       

The belt tracks to the side with the least tension.