In Canada and other places that experience extreme cold weather conditions, industries like construction and coal mining rely on conveyor belt systems that can handle frigid temperatures.
Some of the challenges that cold weather operations face include the following:
- Material freezing to the belt
- The belt itself freezing to the pan and idlers
- Brushes filling up with snow and losing their effectiveness
- Ice forming on the belt and decreasing the friction
The good news is that conveying experts like Luff Industries design and engineer conveyor belt systems that are made for northern climates. While most systems required to operate in extreme cold are already equipped with winterproof conveyor belt parts, there are steps you can take to winterize your conveyor belt system further.
How to protect a conveyor belt system in winter
- Apply antifreeze solution – Antifreeze is a preventive measure. Pre-treating machinery with antifreeze solutions creates a defensive barrier and prevents ice from forming. Apply antifreeze to vital components like belts, idlers, and pulleys. Keep in mind that antifreeze may contaminate the material if it comes into contact with it. Some operations cannot use antifreeze if the issue poses a risk to the material. Instead, the conveyor belt system is modified to handle cold climates.
- Apply de-icer to break down buildup – If ice and snow have already accumulated and affect the belt’s friction, a de-icing solution can help break down the buildup quickly and effectively.
- Keep up with regular maintenance throughout the year – Like any piece of equipment and machinery, conveyor belt systems need regular maintenance. For operations that rely on conveyor belt systems, keeping up with routine maintenance year-round is especially important to prevent costly breakdowns, unexpected downtime, and productivity loss.
Routine maintenance helps identify potential issues before they become a bigger problem and includes replacing worn conveyor belt parts that are causing the system not to work as efficiently as it should.
Modifying an existing conveyor belt system
While antifreeze and de-icing solutions are available, they pose the risk of contaminating material. To reduce the need for chemicals, operators can equip conveyor belt systems with parts that work in extreme cold. For example, switching to a large-diameter head pulley or vulcanized diamond-shaped lagging can help minimize snow and ice-build up and protect the entire system.
However, operations require different system specifications, and every material is different. At Luff Industries, we have an in-house engineering team that can help optimize your conveyor belt system. We not only supply parts, but we can assist with modifications and design requirements, including custom idlers, accurately sizing pulleys for specific applications, and our own patented polymer endcaps.
We offer products and services for the following conveyor belt parts:
Our products pass through a complete ISO 9001 quality inspection and are backed by a full 2-year warranty. Custom-designed conveyor systems are available – contact us, and our engineering team can help.