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Checking and maintaining conveyor belt tension

Dec. 29, 2021

Conveyor belts are extremely efficient products that can be used in a variety of manufacturing and distribution conveying systems. The belts used in these conveyors must be tip-shaped, provide sufficient friction to support different shaped packages, and have the proper tension to keep the conveying process running smoothly.

It's easy to tell when a conveyor belt is worn, needs cleaning, or needs to be replaced due to its surface deterioration or damage. However, belt tension problems can be more difficult to diagnose.

Today we will discuss how to check belt tension, how to properly tension a belt, and how to maintain it.

conveyor belt


The importance of belt tension

The optimum belt tension for a conveyor system is usually defined as the lowest tension that will not cause slippage. Lower tensions are preferred because higher belt tensions can cause unnecessary wear on the belt itself and surrounding components such as bearings and shafts. The additional stress caused by too much tension can lead to premature pulley damage or wear. It can also lead to tracking problems, which can affect the smoothness of the conveying process and can lead to costly downtime. On the other hand, too low a tension can lead to slippage and other problems such as pulley lag, improper belt tracking and premature belt failure.

Checking and maintaining conveyor belt tension


Maintaining and checking belt tension

The following are the easiest signs of improper belt tension to spot.


▴ Belt stalls periodically: (insufficient tension)

▴ Belt pulls out: (too much tension)

▴Cupping or curling belt edges: (belt not tracking properly)

▴ Belt residue found under the conveyor: (belt not tracking correctly)

▴ Squealing sound: (too much tension or incorrect tracking)


Next, you need to properly tension the belt. Empty the belt of all products and tension the belt until it does not slip. Then, slowly add product and keep tensioning the belt to avoid slippage as you proceed until you reach the maximum load capacity of the conveyor system. Be sure to test this tension again by restarting the conveyor with a full load of product and checking for slippage.

In addition to belt tensioning, you will need to continue to maintain your conveyor belt by


✱ Routine inspections

✱ Cleaning the belt frequently

✱ Never exceed the load capacity


These are the three easiest steps to ensure your conveyor belt is in good condition. For additional maintenance expertise, you'll need to hire a team of professionals to perform preventive maintenance on your conveyor system. Huayue is a leading provider of conveyor solutions and services for businesses everywhere. If you need help choosing the right system, or need help with maintenance, you can always count on us. Call us today for more information about our services!


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