Basic Components of Conveyor Pulleys

Blog | August 30th, 2015

pulleyConcentric design is the byword that regulates conveyor pulley manufacturing. The rotating product begins with the central component, a shaft that has been fabricated to meet a set diameter. The material selection here is as important as any other component in the precisely assembled pulley due to a need to eliminate the adverse rotational characteristics that would otherwise compromise the smooth movement of the conveyor. What does this mean in terms of mechanical force? The shaft must be manufactured from a wide enough diameter to offset shaft stresses. The selected alloy will aid in this task, acting as a material solution that eliminates shaft bend and flex.

The Anatomy of a Conveyor Pulley

In terms of radial momentum, the shaft is point zero in the design. It lays the foundations for the turning pulley drum, but this foundation must be supported by concentrically mounted components that mirror this design maxim. The length of the shaft extends along the conveyor belt’s width, subjecting the entire run of the shaft to an engineered precision that ensures the cylinder’s diameter remains consistent across this span. The extrapolated concentric profile of a basic pulley flows outward from this shaft. Two end discs cap the shaft, and it’s the rounded hub-to-rim fabrication of these caps that connect the shaft to the drum or shell.

A Tad More Than the Basics

pulley2Although the drum pulley rules the conveyor industry with an iron fist, we need to go beyond the above definition to realize the talents of the device. A drum pulley is more than a shaft and an outer shell supported by two circular end plates. For example, the cladding of the shell can be altered to enhance the standard cylinder profile of the product. A crown can be incorporated within the design to aid in belt tracking. Lagging choices in the drum aid in the contact formula that prevents slippage between the belt and the drum. Bearing housings decrease friction events and eliminate vibration. The vibration reduction property is particularly relevant when the conveyor is commuting small components that are not meant to move.

An assemblage of pulley components is initially perceived as a basic convergence of parts, but this judgment represents a misconception, especially when we give credit to the versatility and importance of the part within the conveyor mechanism. Like an integral gear within a timepiece, drum pulleys are built to precise standards. They’re also manufactured to perform in vastly different environments, in mines and quarries, food production lines and pharmaceutical factories. Those bearing housings have to be sealed in a lubricant bath to deliver smooth motion while keeping dust and particulate matter segregated. The drum and lagging operate on the same high performance principle, distributing heavy, raw loads and finite weights with equal determination.

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