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Conveyor-belt damage will always be a fact of life in most material-handling applications. Operations and maintenance personnel should have a thorough understanding of the available splicing and repair alternatives and how each method can affect their operation. There are two primary methods of belt-splicing: vulcanization and mechanical fastening. Vulcanization is carried out by stripping the belt into a series of shallow steps on both ends of the splice, treating the surfaces, then bonding the ends together. This process takes anywhere from 6 to 11 hours, consumes at least 8 to 10 feet of belt, and is very costly. Mechanical fastening has several advantages over vulcanization, including faster installation, lower cost, less wasted belt, and no need for special tools or outside crews. There are two different types of mechanical splices: hinged and solid-plate fasteners. Hinged fasteners enable quick belt removal because of the removable hinge pin. Solid-plate fasteners are stronger and allow a continuous splice that prevents sifting of fine material through the joint. Both types of fasteners can be attached either by bolts or rivets.