Conveyor systems are used to transport goods or materials from one fixed point to another within a space. The specific function of the conveyor system can vary significantly depending on the machine's design, but many systems use a rubber belt to transport goods. As an alternative, a PVC conveyor belt can be used. PVC is a type of thermoplastic polymer that is flexible and durable, and therefore suitable for use on conveyor systems. A PVC conveyor belt is sometimes preferable to a rubber belt because it will not stretch as much as rubber.
When belts stretch, they need to be tensioned using specific tensioning devices that are integrated parts of the belt system. Once the belt stretches past a certain point, it can no longer be tensioned and will therefore be more likely to jump off guide pulleys. This will lead to damage to the belt and potentially to other components within the conveyor system. To avoid this type of damage, a conveyor system may be fitted with a PVC conveyor belt that will not stretch significantly over time. This will extend the life of the belt and lower the risk of damage to other components in the conveyor system.
It is also relatively easy to mold a PVC conveyor belt into certain shapes or designs. This means the belt can be textured in a certain way, thereby enhancing the belt's ability to grip items being transported along the system. The PVC conveyor belt can, for example, feature cleats that add traction to the belt. This design is particularly useful when transporting goods up an incline, as the goods may otherwise slide backward on the belt due to gravity. The depth of the cleat will generally determine what materials can be transported effectively on the PVC belt.
Like rubber belts, a PVC conveyor belt will need to be secured at either end to complete the loop. This is done using metal hinges, zippers, or other securing devices. This is generally considered to be the weakest point along the belt's length and is most susceptible to damage. The methods for securing the ends of the PVC belt are the same as the methods used to secure a rubber belt in most cases, so the PVC conveyor belt does not necessarily have a distinct advantage over rubber belts in this regard. The rest of the belt, however, will generally be more reliable and lower stretch than a rubber belt.