Clients very often just look at the surface when choosing a conveyor belt, but in today’s blog we want to consider the importance of the fabric used in the belt.
Conveyor belt properties depend on the fabric
The yarn material, fabric construction and finishing of the fabric all have a major influence on belt properties. So it’s important when choosing a conveyor belt to know these details when deciding how to meet the demands of the belt application.
Conveyor belt requirements
Conveyor belts have a wide range of applications in every industry, and the requirements vary. For example, a belt must not only run straight and be easy to track, but may also have to be:
- Abrasion resistant
- Flame retardant
- Chemical resistant
- Quiet to operate
- Energy efficient
- EU or FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved
As a client, you may also have specific wishes regarding the belt exterior. In order to customize an ideal belt, several factors must be taken into account during the manufacturing process.
Habasit has its own weaving mill
Habasit is unique in having its own weaving mill in Switzerland, which helps us to meet almost every belt requirement that arises, and gives us the highest level of control over the properties and quality of the fabrics we use. And since fabric manufacturing starts with the selection of high-quality yarns, we also take great care to maintain good business relationships with our yarn suppliers in order to guarantee consistently high-quality inputs to our fabrics.
Fabric manufacturing – an advanced process
The yarns used lengthwise are called warp yarn, or ends. The yarns crossing the warp are referred to as weft or filling.
The first processing step to produce a fabric is the warping. The yarns were wound off bobbins on a warping beam, whereby sequential parts are wound next to each other until the full weaving width is covered.
After the warping, the full width of the warp yarns are wound on the weaving beam (i.e. the beam to be placed on the loom).
The second step is to insert the weft yarn: the weaving. The weaving machine (loom) holds the warp threads in place while the filling threads are woven through them. A warp shedding mechanism moves the warp yarn up and down according to the weave pattern. A filling insertion system introduces the filling between the openings of the warp yarns. A reed moved by the beat up-motion beats the filling between the warp yarns. The fabric is wound on a tube on the loom.
The last processing step is finishing and quality control. Finishing means, among other things, dyeing, washing, and/or heat-setting of the fabric.
Building performance into the fabric
During all these processing steps there are important opportunities to influence the fabric performance and therefore the belt properties. For example, we can reinforce the k1% of the belt, reduce the loudness of the belt, and also influence belt flexibility.
In other words, conveyor belt fabric manufacturing is a complicated process that is essential to delivering the correct properties of the conveyor belt. Choose your belt fabric with care to make sure that it meets the demands of your belt application.
Do you need help choosing a conveyor belt? Contact us!