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3 Specialty High Temperature Conveyor Belts for Extreme Temperature Applications

Peeps Conveyor

When it comes to applications involving extreme temperatures it is important to give special consideration to the type of conveyor belt being used. High temperatures can cause serious damage to a conveyor belt making selecting the correct thickness of the cover a necessity.

At Sparks Belting, we have 3 specially designed high temperature belts to withstand extreme high or low heat.

1. The SR 25 Red Silicone Belt

SR 25 Conveyor Belt- Sparks Belting

The SR 25 is a thin yet strong belt that is ideal for heat sealing machines, shrink tunnels, automatic weighing and feed conveyors, and food applications. It is made with fiberglass which gives it a very high heat resistance being able to withstand temperatures of -70° to 450° F. The silicone in the belt creates excellent release properties.  The SR 25 high temperature belt should be used on a small diameter pulley.       

2. Multi-Temp Conveyor Belt

Multi-Temp Conveyor Belt- Sparks Belting

The Multi-Temp belt is made from a butyl rubber compound which give this belt it’s high temperature resistance. However, this belt is usually recommended for extreme low temperature applications where cold rooms or freezers are involved. The Multi-Temp conveyor belt can withstand temperatures ranging from -60°-300° F and is considered to be a step up from the SR 25 as it can be utilized on larger diameter pulleys.

3. Tev Tex Conveyor Belt

Tev Tex Conveyor Belt- Sparks Belting

The Tev Tex conveyor belt comes in a 2 ply as well as a 3 ply version and can withstand temperatures of 0°-250° F.  These belts are made out of a Buna-N rubber compound with a Teflon surface cover. The Teflon cover on the Tev Tex belts allows for superior release and easy cleaning of sticky products such as candy, glue, chemicals, and hot plastics. Do not use conveyors with scrapers or where pulleys cause the belt to severely back-bend as this can damage the Teflon.

These 3 specialty belts are designed for extreme temperature applications. 

What Are Plies and Ply Adhesion?

Ply Adhesion Blog

Some conveyor belting is manufactured with one ply of fabric. This fabric layer can be coated with rubber, polymer or elastomer. Yet, most conveyor belting is manufactured using two or more plies of fabric that are adhered to each other by using inner layers of rubber, polymer or elastomer.

In addition, there can be top or bottom surface covers of rubber, polymer or elastomer.

While ply adhesion is defined as the force required to separate two adjoining plies, the reality is that ply adhesion is the force required to pull apart the adhesion that joins the plies. This is measured in pounds per inch or newtons per millimeter.

Conveyor belts operate on equipment that requires flexing over pulleys on the conveyor. This repeated flexing action will stress the ply adhesion of conveyor belts. As a result, it is important for the belt to have adequate ply adhesion to resist ply separation.

(the bottom ply bends over a smaller radius)

The test for ply adhesion is a “pull test” and can be accomplished with a simple clamping device and a fish scale. The test for ply adhesion is usually done on 1” wide x 8” long samples. Multiple samples of the product should be tested and tests should be conducted on the samples from both directions in order to achieve statistical measurements. Belt manufacturing processes can produce different measurements depending on direction of pull

In general terms, ply adhesion of less than 13-lbs per inch of width is considered unacceptably low. Ply adhesion of more than 50-lbs per inch of width is considered very high and can create challenges in belt fabrications where the plies need to be separated manually.

Synthetic fabrics (i.e. polyester, nylon) are often treated with RFL (resorcinol formaldehyde latex) during manufacturing in order to increase the ply adhesion because, without this treatment, the synthetic fabrics are too smooth and too resistant to effectively absorb the polymer, elastomer or rubber in a manner that achieves acceptable ply adhesion. Cotton, by contrast, is coarser and more absorbent, therefore not requiring RFL treatment to achieve acceptable ply adhesion.

Examples of Minimum Adhesion Standards in Sparks’ Belts

  • 14-lbs/inch Untreated Polyester- Poly Flake, Sno Cone, TevTex 22M & 32M
  • 18-lbs/inch Untreated Cotton/Nylon – HSW, 144 TevTex
  • 18-lbs/inch Untreated Cotton Polyester – 28 NOS, Nytop
  • 22-lbs/inch RFL Treated Polyester Econo- Rough Black, Food King 3W
  • RFL Treated Polyester/Nylon- 3XLN, 143 Ruff Tex, 415-N, Food King 1W

How V-Guide Strips Can Help with Belt Tracking

Dotted V Guide Strips

To assist with positive tracking, a guide strip(s) is often used on the pulley side of conveyor belts. V–guides are the most common shapes used. However, square and rectangular shapes are also available. In addition, Sparks has designed and developed round dot-guides for traveling over very small pulleys.

.Tracking assistance is often required on:

  • Short, wide conveyors
  • Conveyors with side-loading
  • Reversing conveyors

Guide strips will not guarantee tracking success on a conveyor or conveyor belt that is poorly manufactured or lacking dimensional accuracy. The conveyor system and conveyor belt should be manufactured to reasonably track by normal means so that the use of guide strips can further ensure trackability.

The conveyor pulleys, bed and/or idler rollers should have an opening that is 1/4” wider and 1/16” deeper than the guide strip on the conveyor belt. Or conversely, the guide strip furnished on the conveyor belt should be 1/4” narrower and 1/16” shallower than the opening in the pulley, bed and/or idler rollers of the conveyor system. Guide strips are intended to improve tracking. They are not designed to drive the belt!

In general, a larger pulley is required when guide strips are used in conjunction with the belt. Smaller sized guide strips will operate over smaller pulleys better than larger guide strips. Guide strips made of softer durometer materials (i.e. PVC) will operate over smaller pulleys better than harder durometer materials (i.e. Polyurethane). Notched or segmented guide strips will navigate smaller pulleys better than solid guide strips.

Guide strips can be supplied down the center of the bottom of the conveyor belt or off-center to reduce wandering (side to side movement).

While it seems logical that two guides are better than one, it isn’t always true! Two guide strips require more precision in the conveyor design and in the placement of the guides on the belt. However, when two guide strips are required, the critical dimension is the center to center distance of the guide strips from each other. This is far more accurate (due to width tolerances in belting) than measuring from each edge of the belt to the center of each guide strip!

The Purpose of Textiles in Conveyor Belting

Conveyor Belt Materials

Conveyor belts are the driving force in conveying operations. There are many different types and materials for the abundance of applications in the market. However, there are a few different textiles that serve an important purpose in conveyor belting.

Purpose of Textiles in Conveyor Belting

  • Provides Strength for Tensioning
  • Provides Strength for Handling the Load
  • Adds Rigidity or Stiffness, “Gives it Body”
  • Improves Mechanical Fastener Retention
  • Improves Wear Against the Conveyor Bed
  • Reduces Sliding Drag on Product or Conveyor Bed

Types of Textiles/Fibers Used in Conveyor Belting

Natural:

Cotton & Wool

Solid woven cotton is often used in baking applications where belts must “breathe”, absorb, and/or handle warm products. It is also used in applications to handle warm, green rubber products. Cotton is used in length, width, or in both directions of multiple plied conveyor belting to increase the bulk of the overall product on applications which require resistance to impact without requiring high strength.  Most commonly, it is placed either on the top or bottom ply of multiple plied belts to provide lower drag against the conveyor bed or some conveyed products – like cartons.

Characteristics & Properties

  • Moderate Strength
  • High Bulk – a course, thick fiber
  • High absorbing
  • Low modulus – high elongation
  • Low cut and abrasion resistance
  • Moderate temperature resistance
  • Low mildew resistance

Man-Made:

Synthetic – Aramid, Nylon, Polyester 

Nylon:

A nylon core is used to provide high strength as required in some flour, paper, box, and wood applications for conveying products or transmission of power. It is used as the width fiber (fill yarn) in conveyor belting to increase rip resistance and fastener retention as well as to resist abrasion from building material products.

Characteristics & Properties

  • High Strength
  • High Elasticity – Stretch and Shrink
  • Moderately Absorbing
  • Moderate elongation
  • High Cut and Abrasion Resistance
  • High Mildew Resistance

Polyester: 

Solid woven polyester is used as a durable and low cost option for general conveyance, with specific uses in parcel, package, and baggage applications. Polyester is used in the length (warp), width (fill), or in both directions of the weave as an inexpensive carcass for multiple plied conveyor belting. Spun polyester generates less noise and is used when higher speeds are used on long(er) slider bed applications.

Characteristics & Properties

  • High Strength
  • Low Elasticity – Stretch and Shrink
  • Moderately Absorbing
  • Moderate Elongation
  • Moderate Cut and Abrasion Resistance
  • Low Temperature Resistance
  • High Mildew Resistance

Aramid (Kevlar):

Kevlar is used in glass applications where belts must withstand hot temperatures and retard flames, in heavy applications near industrial furnaces or conveying hot products being discharged from heat processes, and in heavy applications where resistance to high or heavy impact is important.

Characteristics & Properties

  • High Strength
  • High Bulk – A Coarse, Thick Fiber
  • High Modulus – Low Elongation
  • High Flame Resistance
  • High Impact Resistance
  • High Temperature Resistance

Blending of Textiles

A blend of textiles is often used to gain the benefits of a variety of features that provide solutions and enhance belt 

How to Properly Track A Bakery Conveyor Belt

How To Track Blog

Keeping a bakery running efficiently can be complicated. One of the most frequent challenges plant maintenance technicians have to deal with is conveyor belt tracking. Aligning and controlling a belt so it maintains its desired path is often difficult to do. So many factors influence the belt’s ability to track correctly. Here are a few areas to consider when attempting to troubleshoot a mis-tracking conveyor belt.

1. Check for product, debris, and buildup

Most often the main source of mis-tracking is a result of product or basic materials built up on the bottom side of the conveyor belt or pulleys. Often this pending result can create a crown or raised portion on the pulley which can result in the conveyor belt mis-tracking to one side or the other. Inspecting a conveyor for mechanical and cleanliness issues needs to be a part of your standard preventive maintenance.

2. Check to ensure the conveyor frame is level and square

In the baking industry, product and line changes happen frequently. This usually means current conveyor systems are moved or modified to meet the latest production requirements. It is during this process a conveyor bed may become out of level or square. When a conveyor bed is out of level or square, the conveyor belt has a tendency to move toward one side or the other. This can be checked by utilizing a standard level. Be sure to check both the frame and the pulleys as well.

Making sure your conveyor bed is square is also easy to do. Simply measure dimensions from one corner to the opposite corner on each side of the conveyor. The measurements should equal one another. Don’t worry if you’re slightly out of square, as most manufacturers provide what are referred to as squaring rods on the bottom side of the conveyor. These can be used to pull the frame back into alignment. 

3. Check to ensure the end pulleys are square

Often the wrong pulley is used to track or adjust the belt. This is a common problem when the conveyor utilizes a center drive and tracking configuration. Start by checking to ensure every pulley is in proper alignment with the conveyor frame. Use only snub rollers and idlers to make tracking adjustments. If at all possible, avoid using the drive roller for tracking adjustment. 

4. Check to ensure the conveyor belt has been cut straight

In the belt fabrication industry, we like to think all belts shipped are perfect, unfortunately that is not always the case. When a belt is slit incorrectly, this can put an arc or curve into the belt, which will result in a mis-tracking condition. If the belt is not aligned correctly during the joining process (laced or made endless), this too can cause a mis-tracking condition. If you suspect this is the case, remove the conveyor belt from the conveyor, lay it out on a table or floor, and see if you notice an arc or curve in the belt. If it is not straight, the belt needs to be replaced.

ProblemSolution
Mechanical malfunction
Proper alignment of pulleys/ conveyor frame.
Crooked spliceSquare belt end, replace splice.
Crooked beltReplacement may be required, see crooked splice.
Material build up on pulleysRecommend routine maintenance or mechanical cleaning devices.
Off center loadingChange feeder design or replace belt with more bulk. Add v-guide or tracking device. Check belt manufacturer’s technical specifications.
Excessive pulley crownRefer to CEMA (Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association) standard 402-1 964 or check with technical specification of belt manufacturer.
Distorted belt because of run off or accidental damageReplacement of belt indicated. 

4 Considerations When Choosing a Bakery Grade Conveyor Belt [Updated]

4 Considerations Food Grade Blog

Getting the right belt for the right application is critical to producing high quality breads.

During the last ten years, consumers taste for baked bread has changed significantly. White bread consumption is being replaced by whole wheat, multigrain, and various specialty breads; and consumers want more variety in taste and texture, as well as health benefits. Now it takes a wider variety of bakery belts to handle this production process.

Compatibility with the environment and ingredients

Conveyor belts need to be compatible with both the environment and with the ingredients used when producing specialty breads. Factors such as heat, moisture, and dough consistency need to be considered when selecting the proper belt. Sparks stocks conveyor belts with various fabric construction to endure the environments required to produce quality breads.

Flexibility

When transferring the product between operations—whether it’s a dough dump, roll forming, or tight transfer of finished product—the belts ability to flex over a rolling nose bar or a knife edge transfer is a critical factor in the selection of the proper belt for the application. Our well-trained application specialist can recommend the belt with the right flexibility to perform on your conveyor design.

Release Characteristics and Feed Rates

The ability of a belt to grip the product and to also release the product at the proper time influences the feed rate or output volume when the proper fabric and compound are selected for each operation.

How to Select the Right Food Grade Conveyor Belt for Confections

Food Grade Conveyor Blog 2

Getting the right food grade conveyor belt for the right application is critical to producing high quality products.The confectionery industry requires the handling of various chocolates, sweets, candies and chewing gum, each requiring a conveyor belt with the right properties to handle their application.

Environmental and Ingredient Compatibility

Conveyor belts need to perform both in the environment and with the ingredients when producing confections. Factors such as heat, moisture, and ingredient consistency need to be considered when selecting the proper belt. 

Flexibility

When transferring the product between operations, the belts’ ability to flex over a rolling nose bar or a knife edge transfer is a critical factor in the selection of the proper belt for the application.  

Release Properties

The ability of a belt to release sticky products at the proper time influences the feed rate or output volume when the proper fabric and compound are selected for each operation.

Additional Features

  • Superior resistance to chemical and oils (which can deteriorate belts)
  • Outstanding abrasion and cut resistance
  • Reliable temperature transition
  • Easy to clean

Sparks stocks a wide variety of conveyor belting solutions, and our application specialist can recommend the right belt for your specific application—Including polyester fabrics along with special non-fray materials, compounds such as PVC, PU, Silicone and plastic, and a wide vary of profiles and custom fabricated features.

Solutions for applications:

  • Forming of chocolate bars(strand splicing and cutting)
  • Enrobing
  • Cooling tunnels
  • Inclination/elevating of product
  • Packaging/feeding of wrapping machines
  • Coating lines
  • Metal detection
  • Transfer belts
  • Check weighing

Whether it’s one of Sparks’ fabric belts with a special compound or profile, or a modular plastic belt that is easy to clean and has positive drive, or even one of our specialty solutions with cleats and sidewalls, Sparks can supply the proper belt for each application providing less downtime, reduced scrap and high value for any application


How to Select the Best Conveyor Belt For Cookie & Cracker Industries

Cookies Crackers Blog


Whether handling dough, cooling baked products, cutting, molding or packaging, Sparks has a complete range of products for the bakery, biscuit and snack processing industry.

Selecting the right food conveyor belt can help processors improve operations in several areas including:

  • Food Safety
  • Reduced maintenance time & cost
  • Sanitary operations
  • Increased service life and belt performance
  • Wear resistance
  • Chemical Resistance
  • Product release
  • High & low temperature resistance
  • Increased yield & reduced waste

Look for belts that include the following features: 

  • Fabrics and compounds that provide clean and safe food contact processing
  • Constructions that allow for increased service life and belt performance
  • Easily cleaned for trouble free and safe food production
  • PVC & PU compounds that provide extended life, with high oil & fat resistance
  • Special coatings with excellent release properties increasing yield and reducing waste
  • Temperature resistance for both cooling and oven applications

Common Applications:

  • Dough Feeder/hopper
  • Dough sheeter
  • Gauge roller conveyor
  • Rotary cutter
  • Scrap return
  • Feeding belt
  • Frictional belt
  • Cooling Belt
  • Transfer Belt
  • Rotary molder

Whether handling dough, cooling baked products, cutting, molding or packaging, Sparks has a complete range of products for the bakery, biscuit and snack processing industry.

Our technical experts have the experience to assist you in selecting the proper belt for your application and ensure the belting we deliver has the performance you need; and accommodates ingredient and heat compatibility, flex, load-carrying capacity and release characteristics.

The Ultimate Bakery Conveyor Belt Selection Guide

Bakery Food Grade Blog

The Right Food Conveyor Belt is Critical to Producing High Quality Bread

Because consumers taste for baked bread has changed significantly, getting the right belt for the right application is critical to producing high-quality breads. It now takes a variety of bakery belts to handle the production process for a larger variety of breads. White bread consumption is being replaced by whole wheat, multigrain, and various specialty breads; and consumers want more variety in taste and texture, as well as health benefits.

Factor 1: Flexibility

There are key factors in the selection of the proper belt for the application. When transferring the product between operations — whether it’s a tight transfer of a finished product, roll forming, or a dough dump — the belts ability to flex over a knife edge transfer or over a rolling nose bar are important factors to consider when selecting the right bakery belt. 

Factor 2: Gripping, Releasing, and Feed Rates

Gripping and releasing the product at the proper time impacts the output volume/feed rate and selecting the proper fabric and compound for each operation allows the product to be released correctly. At Sparks, our application specialists are well trained and can recommend the right belt with the right flexibility that will work best on your conveyor design. 

Factor 3: Belt Compatibility With the Ingredients and the Environment

When producing specialty breads, the conveyor belt needs to be compatible with both the environment and the ingredients. Dough consistency, moisture, heat — these are factors that all need to be considered when selecting the proper belt. At Sparks, we stock conveyor belts with various fabric construction designed to endure the environment and produce quality breads. With a wide variety of bakery belts to choose from — whether a specialty bake shop or a large, high-volume bakery — we specialize in the ability to handle every application. 

Need help selecting the right conveyor belt? 

Our goal is to provide your operation with maximum output, reducing excess scrap, and downtime. We have the experience to assist you in selecting the proper belt for your application. We want to ensure the belting we deliver has the performance you need; and accommodates flexibility, ingredient and heat compatibility, load-carrying capacity, and release characteristics.

Are All White Food Grade Conveyor Belts the Same?

White Conveyor Blog2

The short answer is a resounding, “No”. Lightweight food grade conveyor belts are made with almost endless variations of key features which allow them to be custom fit to your unique application. The food in which they convey always plays a critical role in the proper selection of these belts. Some of the variables include:

Cover

Conveyor belt manufacturers can manipulate the thickness, texture, and adhesion of a belt cover for a seemingly endless list of features and benefits to end users.  Matte finishes tend to aid in product release while glossier finishes create more of a suction effect. 

Pro Tip #1: Lightly brushing the pad of your thumb across the surface of multiple belts for comparison is a great way to estimate how your product will react to the surface. 

Pro Tip #2: Your finger nails are another useful tool to feel the difference of how hard or soft different belts feel.  Scratching multiple belt surfaces is the best way to estimate how abrasive applications or belt scrapers may react to a particular belt. 

Compound

Have you ever wondered why some belts crack in oily applications?  Or perhaps, why do some belts have less carry-over of product on the return side of conveyors? Today’s urethanes and PVC materials can be manipulated for non-stick, anti-microbial, or oil resistant applications.

Carcass

The carcass (or plies) of the belt are responsible for the strength, stretch, flexibility, and even how much flour or oil gets absorbed into a belt. In addition to offering one, two, or three ply solutions, various weaves can be supplied for every conveying application.

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