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Thread: Belt Conveyor Spillage Problems

  1. Raw Meal Spillage Problems

    Dear Sirs,

    One of our clients is looking for resolving spillage problems in belt conveyors carrying Raw Meal for a Cement plant.

    There are 4 transfer towers between the feeding and discharge. Primary and secondary scrapers used (best brand) and also a scraper chain conveyor tried below the discharge chute to collect the spillage back to chute. But this did not give good results.

    Kindly advice if any good suggestions to resolve the issues.

    S.M. Subra

  2. Dear Mr. Subra:

    I suspect that more information is required. If I understand your description, you have one load chute feeding a conveyor (without spillage) and this feeds the next conveyor in line at the first transfer station (again without spillage); then you have three more conveyors and transfer stations (all without spillage); and a final conveyor that delivers the meal to a chute. It is at the discharge chute where spillage is occuring.

    If this scenario is correct, the problem is likely to be with your client's chute design. If the "spillage" problem is one of carry-over, it is likely that the belt cleaners are inadequate, or there is not sufficient space for them to work properly.

    If you would provide more detail, or a sketch, I (and probably many others) would be in a better position to make suggestions.
    Dave Miller
    ADM Consulting
    10668 Newbury Ave., N.W.,
    Uniontown, Ohio 44685 USA
    Tel: 001 330 265 5881
    FAX: 001 330 494 1704

  3. Spillage

    Dear Sir,

    You are correct. There are 4 transfer points , all are 90 deg turns with various lengts . The spillage is more at chute transfers.
    The scraper angle and gap maynot be right, ut we followed the supplier guidelines.
    We will send the layout and details for your further advice.

  4. Dear Mr. Subra

    I would be happy to review your drawings if you would care to send me copies. Photographs would also be quite helpful. Since Perth is only a few hours flight away, it would also be possible to arrange a visit if required.


    Peter Donecker

  5. Dear Mr. Subra,

    It is necessary to check design of transfer point (i.e. Material trajectory, material path in chute, material loading on skirt board, skirt board length, idler spacing, belt tension etc). After checking these, one can arrive at remedial measures. Belt scraper alone does not contribute in this matter.
    Either you should analyze yourself, or take services from concerned experts.

    Ishwar G Mulani.
    Author of Book : Engineering Science and Application Design for Belt Conveyor
    Advisor / Consultant for Bulk Material Handling Systems.
    Email :

  6. Dear Mr. Subra:

    As the spillage is occuring at the various transfer points, it suggests one of the following:

    [1] overloading

    [2] off center loading

    [3] improper or mal-adjusted skirting

    [4] belt sag between idlers

    [5] run-back at the back-end of the loading area

    If overloading, the answer is obvious (reduce the load rate or increase the receiving belt speed).

    If off center loading, consider a chute reconfiguration or baffle (direction) plates.

    If improper or poorly adjusted skirting, consider a different skirt system (you can contact me for a list of possible alternatives), or adjusting the existing skirting.

    If belt sag, consider more belt tension (note that this can cause other problems), more impact idlers, a UHMWpe slider arrangement in lieu of the angled troughing idlers, or an impact slider bed instead of the impact idlers.
    If material is flowing backwards on the belt, improve your back skirt system or install a capture box.

    There are other possibilities, but these are the most likely.

    Hope this helps.
    Dave Miller
    ADM Consulting
    10668 Newbury Ave., N.W.,
    Uniontown, Ohio 44685 USA
    Tel: 001 330 265 5881
    FAX: 001 330 494 1704

  7. #7
    Lawrence K. Nordell

    Lawrence K. Nordell

    President and CEO

    Conveyor Dynamics Inc.

    Conveyor Dynamics Inc.

    Professional Experience 59 Years / 11 Month Lawrence K. Nordell has 59 Years and 11 Month professional experience

    Discussions 304 Lawrence K. Nordell acceded to 304 discussions, Publications 0 Lawrence K. Nordell Nordell released 0 publications

    Know-How Design (1524) Lawrence K. Nordell used this tag 1524 times, Pipe Conveyor (239) Lawrence K. Nordell used this tag 239 times, Chutes (119) Lawrence K. Nordell used this tag 119 times

    Mr. Subra

    The problem you describe can be quickly mathematically modelled using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) to clearly resolve the nature of spillage. Individual granular particles contact physics and flow regime are mathematically simulated.

    Stagnation zones, or buildup are visulaized.

    Any transfer chute system can be analyzed with any mix of particle size groups. Your problem can be quickly resolved including:

    1. spillage
    2. tracking
    3. rip protection
    4. dust generation
    5. noise generation
    6. belt wear

    We are specialists in such modeling and would be pleased to offer our assistance.

    Visit our website:

    In the comming months we will post a number of chute configurations resulting from limestone, copper, iron ore, coal, and fine cement. We are publishing some of the techniques at Beltcon 12 in South Africa in July.

    Lawrence NOrdell
    Conveyor Dynamics, Inc.

  8. Thanks for the replies.
    I attached a sketch of the chute under investigation. Kindly suggest.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  9. Dear Mr. Subra:

    The drawing you attached helps in that it gives an overview of the transfer station. Unfortunately, it does not give any details on the skirting system.

    I presume that there is metal/flexible material skirt arrangement that is supposed to prevent spillage from the 250mm gap between the top of the belt and the bottom of the chute, and that this arrangement extends past the chute to a point where the material has had a chance to settle on the belt.

    The diagram does indicate a potential for off center loading on the belt -- but I cannot confirm this without feeding belt speed and normal loading information.

    Dave Miller
    ADM Consulting
    10668 Newbury Ave., N.W.,
    Uniontown, Ohio 44685 USA
    Tel: 001 330 265 5881
    FAX: 001 330 494 1704

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 03

    Chute Analysis and Problem Solving

    Dear Mr. Subra,

    Take a look at our webpage at or You should be able to get a brochure from our site under the numerical modeling that will give you an idea of what is needed to do Chute analysis and what we have done in the past to solve some of the problems that you describe.

    Also, if you would like to talk about this in more detail please feel free to contact me directly at 303.716.0569 or via email at

    Best regards,


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