Mechanical splices can be installed using any of several methods. Each uses relatively inexpensive tooling and involves only a few inches of belt. Generally, a 48-inch mechanical splice can be installed in less than two hours, start to finish, for less than $100 for all of the material. The tooling will cost less than one vulcanized splice and will be used over and over again.
Suitable mechanical fasteners come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Each is designed to help companies maintain top productivity. Yet different compositions and styled fasteners make selection an important consideration.
For example, Bolt Solid Plate fasteners manufactured by Flexco are designed for mechanically rated belts to 620 P.I.W. (105 kN/m) and are well suited for higher tension, main haulage belts carrying highly abrasive materials.
They are designed for belt thicknesses ranging from 3/16 to 1 3/16 inches. The recommended minimum pulley diameter ranges from 12 to 48 inches.Broader applications
During the past five years, rivet-attached, hinged-plate alternatives have expanded to accommodate broader applications. Previously, they were offered in only three sizes, all of which were attached with a staggered pattern of five rivets per plate.
Now, these alternatives include an eight-rivet design with thicker plates and longer reach-back for higher tension, heavily loaded mainline belts having mechanical fastener ratings up to 2000 PIW (350 kN/m).
At the medium-duty end, a two-rivet version now serves belts with mechanical fastener ratings of up to 330 PIW (60 kN/m), which are used wherever heavier loads move on belts ranging from 1/8 to 3/8 inches thick.
A recent advancement to maximize belt availability and help maintain productivity is a “scalloped-edge” design, in which leading/trailing edges are formed into a concave shape with more prominent edge coining (beveling).
This allows the fastener plate ends to embed deeper into the belt cover with less effort, minimizing splice height so the plates pass more smoothly under belt cleaners and skirt boards. This is especially helpful on solid-woven PVC and other belts with top covers too thin to countersink.
A rivet-hinged version with the scalloped edge design is ideal for applications requiring frequent belt-length alterations. It is designed for belts with mechanical fastener ratings up to 1500 PIW (263 kN/m). All are available in plated steel or stainless steel for extra resistance to abrasion, corrosion, and magnetic attraction.
The latest developments are making installation easier and faster with tools to load multiple rivets in collated sets, as well as an upgrade to the power-operated rivet-driving tool. This reflects the increasing emphasis on reducing splicing time and providing portable power tools designed for more consistent installation quality with less fatigue.
The author is market manager, heavy duty, Flexible Steel Lacing Co. (Flexco), Downers Grove, Ill. For more information, visitwww.flexco.com.