A conveyor band, sometimes known as a conveyor belt, is a component on a conveyor system that is used to move objects or materials from one point to another within a certain space. This component can be made from several different materials, such as rubber and rubber composites, metal, and even plastic. The conveyor band must be flexible because it will be wound around pulleys or along tracks that will move in various directions, and it must be durable enough to withstand exposure to friction, heat, or weight from heavy or bulky items.
Many conveyor band components are made from rubber, as this material is flexible, relatively durable, and reliable. Adjustments to a rubber conveyor band can be done fairly easily as well using a tensioner known as a conveyor take-up. It is not suitable for all applications, however, as it is not an easy material to clean and it can melt or otherwise degrade when exposed to high temperatures. Conveyor systems that are used for transporting packages as well as some raw materials such as rocks may use a rubber conveyor belt for durability and ease of use.
Food processing applications often require a different type of conveyor band. Wire mesh conveyor belts, for example, are made of metal and can withstand high temperatures from ovens. These bands are also easier to clean than rubber belts, and they allow for plenty of air circulation since they are not solid all the way through. Such bands are useful in food processing and any other application in which the conveyor band will be run through an oven or other heating element. If the band needs to be cleaned regularly for sanitary purposes, a wire mesh band may also be the best option. Wire bands can be harder to adjust, but they also tend to be exceptionally durable and will not stretch as much as other types of bands.
Plastic conveyor band models will feature molded plastic pieces that interlock with each other. The plastic pieces will be hinged to flex, making them suitable for a variety of conveyor types, not just straight conveyors. Plastic is generally easy to mold, so the production costs of such a belt will be low; the cost to consumers will therefore be lower than other types of conveyor belts as well. Plastic may not be the most durable material, however, and the belt may not be suitable for exceptionally heavy-duty applications.