7 Most Popular Types of Conveyor Belts

By IBT Inc

March 16, 2022

Belting & Hose

This guide is to help educate on the different types of conveyor belts. These seven conveyor belts are the most common in conveyor belt applications.

Types of Conveyor Belts

  1. Roller Bed Conveyor Belts
  2. Flat Belt Conveyors
  3. Modular Belt Conveyors
  4. Cleated Belt Conveyors
  5. Curved Belt Conveyors
  6. Incline/Decline Belt Conveyors
  7. Sanitary and Washdown Conveyors

Roller Bed Conveyor Belts

The roller bed conveyor belts utilize gravity to hold the items on the belt. This type of conveyor belt is flat and made up of rollers selected to match the specifications of the load above. Shorter roller belts can be made up of two rollers, but more rollers will need to be added as the distance of the belt lengths. Therefore, a longer belt will be required as well.

Roller Bed Conveyors can be utilized for moving, packing, sorting, assembling, and inspecting items. Many of us have witnessed roller bed conveyors used at the airport baggage claim or in those intense Internet videos with people loading numerous articles quickly into boxes.

Flat Belt Conveyors

Flat Belt conveyors are used mainly in manufacturing environments and slow assembly lines. With the correct belt, Flat Belts can also move small, soft, or irregular-shaped items. They are utilized to transport items within an operation. This belt uses a series of pulleys to drive a continuous flat belt. Objects are positioned on the belt and carried from one spot to the end of the belt. These belts can be made of a natural material of a synthetic fabric like polyester or nylon.

Modular Belt Conveyors

Modular Belt Conveyors are made up of interlocking sections of hardened material, usually hard plastic, in a single loop. The sections of material can be replaced individually. Only replacing one area helps save cost, not the entire belt. In addition, hardened plastics are better suited to handle rough, sharp, or abrasive materials. 

Modular Belts have a higher cost. However, they also can do a majority of conveying functions. Modular belts can go around corners, travel straight, and go up and down inclines. All of those motions can use the same motor. 

The plastic in the modular belts makes them a good fit for food products since they are easier to clean and have spaces where fluid can be drained or retained on the conveyor. The plastic makeup of the belt aids with detecting unwanted metals as well.

Cleated Belt Conveyors

Cleated belt conveyors are utilized to move products up an incline. These conveyors feature raised cleats on the belts to help hold the products or items in position as they travel up or down the conveyor. Another advantage of the cleats is that they create consistent spacing between the items on the conveyor belt. There are numerous shapes and sizes of cleats. Another type of cleated belt is the elevator belt that utilizes scoops or buckets to carry materials or products up a steep incline or a vertical surface.

Incline/Decline Belt Conveyors

Similar to Flat Belts, except Incline Belts have a rough surface. This surface creates more friction and helps items hold their position as they travel up the belt. These belts do not produce the same spacing that a cleated belt does. 

Sanitary and Washdown Conveyors

These conveyor belts are made of rated materials and are ready to be sanitized often. These belts are usually associated with food-grade applications. Sanitary conveyors are generally flat wire belts. These are tough belts that stand up to wear and tear and are easy to clean.

IBT Has Your Conveyor Belt

IBT Inc. has two in-house conveyor belting groups. This includes heavyweight conveyor belts and lightweight conveyor belts and their different applications.

Heavyweight Conveyor Belt

Rock Belts

These belts have fabric construction and can range from a single-ply fabric to multiple-plys of fabric. Each individual ply has a different tension rating. The rubber covers adhere to both the top and bottom to protect the fabric-plys. 

Typical top covers or carry covers range from 3/16” to ⅜” depending on the design and strength of the conveyor belt. The bottom cover or pulley cover varies from 1/16” to 1/8” depending on the design and strength of the belt. 

Fenner Dunlop Patriot X & NOVA X lines

Fenner-Dunlop PatriotXFenner Dunlop offers their Patriot X line of rock belts. These belts are available in 24, 30, 36, and 42-inches. The proprietary cover compound offers significantly better rip, tear, and impact performance compared to typical plied belting. The new finger splice design is optimized for both performance and fabrication efficiency. The Patriot X line has a safety factor greater than 8:1. 

Fenner Dunlop also offers the Nova X line. This belt has a patented dual crimp weave for higher strength and low stretch applications. The Nova X line uses a unique fabric weave that allows for improved mechanical fastener retention and splice life. This line conveys bulk material more reliably with the advanced flexible belt core and makes it resistant to rips, tears, impacts, and punctures.

Applications:

  • Crushed Stone
  • Ready Mix
  • Cement
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Fertilizer Plants 

MOR Belts

MOR stands for moderately oil resistant. These use the same fabric design as the rock belts, but the rubber used on the top and bottom covers are designed to resist oil penetrating them and causing the rubber to swell. 

Some MOR belts do not use a bottom cover. This is referred to as a bareback or BB. 

Fenner-Dunlop Woodmaster BeltFenner Dunlop WoodMaster Line

Fenner Dunlop’s WoodMaster is a member of the Plylok line. WoodMaster is plied belting with less than 2% stretch and superb abrasion resistance for general purpose applications. The increased gauge rubber between splices helps the WoodMaster to absorb more energy and gives more impact resistance.

Applications:

  • Paper Mills
  • Saw Mills
  • Wood Board Plants
  • Wood Chips
  • Bark
  • Broken Belts
  • Chipper End Feed
  • Planer Belt
  • Pulp Belts
  • Sander Belts

Lightweight Conveyor Belting

Food Handling 

Food handling belts are plied rubber with a rubber cover. They can be interwoven with PVC or RMPVC covers. Food handling belts are smooth for horizontal conveyance and textured/cleated for incline/decline applications. They have a plied monofilament or spun polyester carcass with a urethane or PVC cover.

Applications:

  • FDA approved
  • Handle direct food contact or packaged products
  • Found in bakeries, pet food production, and more.

Package Handling 

Package handling belts are plied rubber. They can come with or without a cover. Package handling belts are smooth for horizontal conveyance and textured/cleated for incline/decline applications, utilized by manufacturers, packaging, distribution centers, etc.

Applications:

  • Manufacturers
  • Packaging
  • Distribution Centers

Power Transmission 

Power Transmission belts are flat belts that transfer horsepower from one point to another. They have a nylon core with rubber covers. Power Transmission belts have a plied fabric/rubber construction and are usually a monofilament with a urethane cover. 

Applications:

  • Printing
  • Labeling
  • Paper Industry
  • Driving Live Rollers

Want to learn more about your Conveyor Belt Options?

As your experts for conveyor belting, we want to help you find the best belt for your application- but that’s not all. IBT’s IRPG team partners with various industries, offering a wide selection of heavyweight and lightweight conveyor belting and custom fabrication services. Contact your local IBT rep to learn more about your conveyor belt options.

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