How a plastic wear strip can increase the life of your conveyor chain
Demanding conveyor environments, such as biomass plants, cement works, pulp and paper factories or sawmills, rely on robust machinery that can consistently and reliably transport high volumes of material, often over long distances.
Efficient handling of those materials is essential for cost-effective production – and conveyor downtime, whether it’s as part of a scheduled preventative maintenance programme, or due to an unplanned outage, can have a detrimental effect on production capacity.
With so many moving parts within the conveyor system there are many possible points of contact where excessive friction can cause components to become worn.
So what can you do to keep your conveyor systems moving?
One simple way to protect critical components and prolong the wear life of your conveyor chain is through the use of a specialist thermoplastic wear strip.
And by choosing a wear strip that has been specifically produced for your style of conveyor chain it is possible to greatly extend chain wear life and increase operational efficiency.
One of the most common plastic materials used in wear strip applications is polyethylene – for example high-molecular-weight (ISO-LEN® 500) or ultra-high-molecular-weight form (ISO-LEN® 1000) – which provides superior wear resistance, enhanced durability and excellent sliding friction properties to protect the surface of the chain.
By decreasing the coefficient of friction, the chain slides more easily and there is also the added benefit of reducing the amount of power that is needed to drive the conveyor.
The wear strip can be mounted onto your conveyor in a variety of ways. You may prefer to bolt it down to the conveyor directly. Or, if it is difficult to access, it may be preferable to mount it in a galvanised channel which will ensure that replacement is quick and easy.
Visual inspections should always form part of your preventative maintenance schedule as they will save you time and maintain the best performance.
Sometimes the visual inspection of chains and wear strips can be difficult – especially if the components are located inside the conveyor system or in a harder-to-reach area.
One solution which can makes it easier to see when your wear strip needs replacing is a specially-designed wear strip that changes colour as it wears.
A simple change in surface colour provides a clear visual indication that it is time to replace the wear strip.
It is always advisable to change your wear strip before the chain starts to drag along the base of the conveyor.
By monitoring and promptly replacing your wear strip you will preserve the integrity of your chain and conveyor – which will minimise production downtime and keep your running costs down.