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What Is a Metal Conveyor Belt?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A metal conveyor belt is a component used in a conveyor system instead of a rubber belt. The belt wraps around a series of cylinders that are placed in succession to provide propulsion for the belt, and items are loaded onto the conveyor to be moved across a space, often in a factory or other industrial setting. A metal conveyor belt is made with metal chain links that create a continuous, breathable surface. It is appropriate for some applications in which a rubber belt will not work, and it offers efficient drainage, cleaning, and open-air access.

Such belts are often used in the food packing industry, as the metal conveyor belt will not contaminate the food being transported on the conveyor system. The metal belt is also much easier to clean than a rubber one, and it can often be cleaned in place without necessitating removal of the belt itself. A metal conveyor belt can be efficient because the gaps between the chain links allow water to pass through easily and drain off. If dryers are then used, the air can pass through the belt easily as well for more efficient ventilation. The ventilation of the metal conveyor belt is also better for the components of the system. More air passing through means less heat adversely affecting the various components that can break down in the system.

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Rubber belts tend to be better suited to transporting finer materials, though some wire mesh belts are wound tightly enough that even finer materials can be transported without slipping through the links. Since some foods are quite fine and will slip through the links of a metal conveyor belt, a solid metal belt may be used. This thin, durable metal sheet can be quite expensive, but it will last a long time, prevent materials from sifting through the system, and prevent contamination of food items.

Another advantage of metal belts is the reduced likelihood of stretching. Rubber belts need to be re-tensioned often to ensure the belt does not slip while moving over the cylinders. Metal belts tend to stretch far less than rubber belts, and they are often guided along a track using cogs with teeth. This provides a more efficient propulsion method.

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