How Does a Conveyor Belt Work?

by David Scott; Updated September 26, 2017
How Does a Conveyor Belt Work?

The Basics of a Conveyor Belt

Conveyor belts are basically very wide belts attached in a loop to two or more turning rotors driven by motors. The loop is the actual conveyor belt, and is generally made of two or more layers of rubber, one layer to give shape and structure to the belt and one to allow it to transport its load safely. This conveyor loop is generally attached to two wheels, called rotors, which are spun by motors. The conveyor belt has enough friction between it and the rotor that it sticks to this rotor.

The Movement of a Conveyor Belt

As a rotor turns, the conveyor belt will turn as well due to the intense friction between the rotor wheel and the belt. This turning motion of the rotor causes one side of the belt to move in one direction, while the other moves in the opposite direction. This means that both wheels must always be moving in relatively the same direction, either clockwise or counter-clockwise. If the two rotor wheels moved in opposite directions, the conveyor belt would not travel at all.

The Transportation Along a Conveyor

The word convey means to send or transmit; therefore, a conveyor is something that sends or transmits. Conveyor belts, mostly used in industry, convey products or raw materials through the use of either friction or mounts on the belt meant to hold the product in place as the belt moves. As the conveyor belt moves its product, the product stays around one place on the conveyor. Many times, twists or turns are put in conveyors; these are facilitated by cone shaped rotors or wheels, which allow the conveyor to turn.

About the Author

David Scott has been a firefighter for the Seattle Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team for almost 20 years. He has been writing primarily since 2005, but did author the book, "The White River Ranger District Trail Guide" in 1988. In addition to his work for Demand Studios, Scott spends much of his time writing poetry and a novel.

Photo Credits

  • http://www.osha.gov/
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