What Is a Pipe Conveyor?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 May 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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A pipe conveyor is a system used to move materials from one set location to another within a specific space. The system features a rubberized belt that is curled into a cylindrical shape and propelled through a series of rollers or idlers that help keep that shape. The purpose of a pipe conveyor is to transport materials while reducing spillage; the belt forms a sealed system that will not allow materials to seep through, thereby preventing loss and potential contamination of other components in the conveyor system. The flexibility of the rubber belt allows the conveyor to feature curves, inclines, and declines as well.

The belt on a pipe conveyor is usually fairly thick to provide structure to the cylindrical shape once it is formed. Materials will be loaded onto the belt through a hopper while the belt is still in its flat form. The belt will then run through a series of idlers and rollers that force the belt into its cylindrical shape. The materials being transported will essentially be sealed within the belt and transported forward in the pipe shape created by the rounded belt. Once the materials reach the end of the pipe conveyor system, the belt will flatten again and the materials will be unloaded off the end of the belt.

The length of the pipe conveyor system can vary, though most systems tend to be quite long. They are most often used in processing settings, especially in mines or other outdoor locations that require raw materials to be transported to or from a processing facility. The pipe conveyor is especially convenient because the track of the system can be bent around corners; the radius of this bend will vary depending on the thickness and type of belt being used to transport materials.

The cost of the system can be a fair amount higher than other conveyor systems, however, and little has changed in terms of technology since the original pipe conveyor models hit the market in the 1970s. The system is generally only as strong as the belt it uses, and the belt can wear fairly quickly, especially if it is not tensioned correctly or if other components are not lined up properly. Special training is required in order to operate or otherwise maintain these systems, so many companies opt not to use the system to avoid excess training and higher operational costs.


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