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Mechanical Fasteners Or Endless Splicing: Part 2

2013-7-9 10:15:00

There are two major processes to choose from when splicing your conveyor belt: mechanical fasteners and endless splicing. Reviewing the available alternatives against the realities of your conveyor system will help you determine which type will serve your needs best.

Endlessing Options

There are two basic methods of endlessing light-duty belts. Belts with thermoplastic binders such as PVC, RMV (rubber modified vinyl), and urethanes lend themselves to endless fabrication because these materials flow together under heat and cool into a homogeneous mass. Fabricators typically install a “finger splice” into these belts, in which a dovetailing zigzag die-cut across both belt ends optimizes the edge-bonding area in between them. If belt thickness permits, a “finger-over-finger” technique also separates the belt ends into upper and lower layers, with their finger-cuts staggered so bonding occurs between layers, as well as, between fingers.

Belts made of thermoset materials — including rubber, neoprene, Buna-N, and some urethanes that don’t flow under heat — are usually made endless with a “step splice.” In this process, both belt ends are cut into steps at complementary angles, typically diagonal to the belt length, which overlay each other when the belt ends are drawn together. The step interface is bonded with an adhesive, either cold-set or heat activated.

Mechanical fastener options

Mechanical splicing for light-duty belts presents three basic choices of metallic fasteners (wire hook, staple-style, and stamped lacing) and two non-metallic choices. Each type of light-duty belt splice has characteristics suitable for certain applications, but large areas of overlap exist between the various offerings. This variety allows users to select the style that best fits their needs.

Wire hook fasteners offer users an economical, low-profile, yet long-lasting splice. They are available in a wide variety of sizes, metals, and configurations for belt thicknesses up to .39" (10 mm) and pulley diameters as small as 15/16" (24 mm). Wire hook segments are supplied in strips with hooks held in proper spacing and alignment by either carded or welded assembly. Carded assembly holds individual wire hooks together with a stiff paper channel for easy handling and is disposed of once used. In welded assembly, hooks are welded in position along a common crosswire. Both types provide the advantage of a low profile fastener that is machine-installed, which assures a consistent, even splice.

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