Conveyor Spillage and the Problems it Might Cause to Conveyor Components

April 16, 2019

Make no mistake, conveyor systems can fail when they’re assaulted by fluid leakages. In all likelihood, the spillage won’t have any impact on the material carrying belt. It’s made of waterproof rubber or plastic or some kind of corrosion-resistant stainless steel. For the parts running under the belt, it’s a different story. The pulleys won’t react favourably to a watery splash, nor will the mechanically meshing power transmission assemblies.

Find the Source of the Spillage

If the fluid is dripping from a leaky ceiling during a heavy rainstorm, oxidization patches are going to grow underneath the conveyor belt. Idler pulleys will grind and squeal as the rust spreads, then the whole equipment line will stop because those idlers have seized up at the most inopportune moment. Additionally, the dripping water could soak up local pollutants and carry them into the equipment, where they’ll violate the health and safety regulations. Now the spillage is jeopardizing the system’s hygiene-endorsed runnings. As bad as this situation obviously is, it could be worse; the conveyor spillage could be coming from an overflowing material load.

When Transported Materials Overflow

For one thing, the seepage is going to create a major health and safety hazard. If there’s a walkway beside or below the equipment, then the liquid could pool there and create a slippage risk. For the exposed parts below the belt, yet again, the properties of the dripping fluid will play a role in what comes next. Water is an oxidization agent. It also mixes with powdery deposits to create gungy discharges, which can inhibit mechanical couplers and pulley bearings. What if the fluid is oily or loaded with acidic content? Rubber pulley cladding, which is normally incredibly resilient, could crumble and decompose when attacked by acid. To be honest, any aggressive chemical reagent could create this polymer-disintegrating effect. 

The costs are high. Rubber linings melt, idler pulleys seize, and belt parts run jerkily. The belt tracking mechanism suffers, too, so the conveyor system mistracks. There’s noise in the room as well, so the pulleys and powertrain generate a loud squeal of protest every time a new load enters that spillage-compromised belt section. Left like this, it’s only a matter of time before the whole line seizes up. To fix up this very wet fly in the ointment, find the ceiling leak and fix it immediately. If the spillage is material related, special equipment troughing guards are installed. By the way, a cleanup crew needs to come to the rescue if a liquid/debris mush is already impacting the conveyor components.

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