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How to preserve the life of an elevator belt

Supplier: Downfields Engineering
27 October, 2011

An elevator belt which has been correctly installed and maintained will give long years of satisfactory service.

However, something can go wrong to cause premature failure. The following information can help to alert the operator to the cause of potential problems and recommendations to rectify them.

Condition Cause Recommendations
Premature belt wear Belt slipping on head pulley Check the belt tension is adequate. Check boot is not being overfed, thereby putting extra drive load on the head pulley. Check the head pulley surface condition to see if needs relagging. Check there isn't a build-up of "hardened" product in the boot.
  Belt quality not adequate for application. Consult an experienced bucket elevator manufacturer.
  Abrasive wear caused by excess product in boot. Control flow of product into boot. If product is abrasive, feed on up leg ONLY.
Buckets pull loose from belt Obstruction in boot Check and clean out residual material in boot.
  Bucket bolts not tight Check bucket bolt tightness at regular intervals. Ensure nuts have some locking mechanism.
  Load on bucket in excess of belt's capabilities. Consult an experienced bucket elevator manufacturer. Check that the elevator is not handling product with different density and flow characteristics from when originally designed.
Belt "comes apart"  Belt going around too small diameter pulley causing delamination  Consult an experienced bucket elevator manufacturer
  Excessive oils, fats, chemicals, moisture or temperature in product. Incorrect belt for application.
Belt tears at bolt hole locations  Belt type unsuitable for application  Consult experienced bucket elevator manufacturer
  Operating tension too high for existing belt. Check belt tension and confirm elevator is operating within its rated capacity.
  Belt hardening and cracking across bolt line Belt incorrect for application. Consult an experienced bucket elevator manufacturer.
Belt running off-centre Product build up on pulleys  Scrape pulleys and belt clean. If boot pulley is a plain drum type, change for slatted cone type. Check that product isn't falling back from incorrect discharging at head.
  Poor belt joint Whatever belt joining system is used, the joint must be square. Rejoin according to bucket elevator manufacturer's recommendation.
  Belt not tracking around head pulley "Jack" bearing/s as required and shim to hold in place. To track belt, RAISE the bearing on the side the belt is running towards.
  Belt not tracking around boot pulley Adjust takeup and lock into position. To track belt, LOWER the bearing on the side the belt is running

Clearing a choked elevator boot

  • Rule 1: Never jog a choked elevator
  • Rule 2: Follow a recommended procedure
    • Shut off grain flow to boot inlet
    • Switch off elevator and lock out controls
    • Open the boot cleanout slides and clean out all accumulated grain
    • Check for the cause of the choked boot
    • Rectify cause
    • Restart and check to prevent re-occurrence