The actual reduction in power consumption depends on many factors, including rubber compound, total lift or drop, belt rating, material and load carried, idler spacing and arrangement, and the vertical and horizontal curves made by the belt. Overland troughed belts designed by Forech's design partner CDI have achieved 40% power savings, which also includes optimisation in layout and motors. For pipe belt, belt cross sectional stiffness plays an important role in power consumption, and the power saving needs to be defined and monitored on a case-by-case basis.
Radial or cross-sectional stiffness is of interest. The belt has a longitudinal stiffness also, but this property and its value does not affect the pipe formation in any way. Longitudinally, belt tension combined with idler spacing/arrangement governs the belt behavior.
For steel cord pipe belts, power consumption usually stabilises within the first hundred hours of operation. Fabric belt may have longer training period depending on the fabric properties.
As the LRR cover is not even coming in contact with the conveyed material, and only running over idlers, the mechanical properties including tensile strength are more than enough to ensure good performance.
Even if you are using the conveyor as a reversible conveyor, DIN-K and IS:1891 cover strength is more than adequate for carrying coal; which is the usual material transported in Fire Resistant belts.
ISO1431 sets out both static and dynamic tests for ozone resistance and Forech follows this. Customers should be aware that the test is prescribed for the rubber compound and not the belt itself.
The choice of fixed pitch or variable pitch in pipe conveyor belts has traditionally been a legacy issue of different manufacturers. It is possible to meet pipe belt stiffness and troughability requirements with either fixed or variable pitched steel cords, and neither one is intrinsically better.
The life of a pipe conveyor belt depends on the material being carried, maintenance, and operating speed. In general, it has the same lifespan as an equivalent troughed belt; though if a pipe belt is used to traverse very sharp curves that a troughed belt cannot, fatigue may set in earlier.
On a case to case basis it may be possible, Using LRR reduces the belt tension and maybe belt rating, but belt safety factor in general is kept the same.
Belt safety factor can be reduced if the following are also provided:
- optimized starting/stopping control
- advanced splicing material
- good splice design/workmanship.
Is a pipe conveyor belt cheaper than a troughed conveyor belt?
A pipe conveyor belt will be more expensive per metre than a troughed conveyor belt of the same width, rating, and covers. However, the user must consider the cost of not just the belt, but the overall system.
As a pipe conveyor belt can make sharper curves than troughed conveyor belts, pipe conveyor belts are usually used to reduce the number of transfer points and land requirement. This can reduce the number of drive systems, and the overall conveyor length compared to a troughed belt installation; which leads to lower capital costs, operating and maintenance costs; and therefore a lower total cost of ownership despite the higher price of the belt itself.