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Thread: Belt Feeders for Coal

  1. #1
    Posted by Bill Potma on May 10, 1999 at 18:36:19:

    We are proposing load-out belt feeders for clean coal under bins with large slot openings.
    We would welcome input regarding experience with belt feeders at 1 m/s or more for coal or similar bulk materials.

  2. #2

    Re: belt feeders for coal

    Posted by Doug Hostetler, PE on May 11, 1999 at 12:12:44:

    In Reply to: belt feeders for coal posted by Bill Potma on May 10, 1999 at 18:36:19:

    I worked 20 yrs at a big utility that used many belt feeders below coal piles. This was due to the fact that the origional vibratory feeders at one plant were too short. Vibratorys can work well.

    Belt feeders are more costly, but fine assuming good skirting and VFDs are provided. If you have a lot of feeders you may want to consider grouping a few together.

    One key is maintaing flow to the hopper inlet. 1/2"-3/4" thick UHMW (TIVAR)is highly recommended with eastern coals. The hopperlayout would determine the extent of coverage.

  3. Dear Mr. Bill Potma,

    Possibly you are referring to belt feeder cum conveyor i.e. at loading point it works like belt feeder, but beyond skirt board material is resting against the trough belt side only without skirt board (the belt is wide enough for this purpose). There can be belt weigher (scale) in portion without skirt board, so that it can give correct indication / signal of flow rate.
    The drive unit should have variable speed. Its speed will adjust in accordance with weigher signal, and thereby will tend to maintain the set value of flow rate. This equipment has discharge control response with minimum time lag, whereas vibrating feeder discharge control will have delayed response as it will be using signal from subsequent conveyor, to control its discharge rate. This will result in lesser accuracy on discharge control.
    The speed 1 mps is somewhat high. For a material like coal, the maximum speed of 0.6 to 0.7 mps will be more desirable.

    Ishwar G Mulani.
    Author of Book : Engineering Science and Application Design for Belt Conveyors.
    Advisor / Consultant for Bulk Material Handling System & Issues.
    Email :
    Tel.: 0091 (0)20 25882916

  4. Belt feeders for coal

    The operating characteristics of belt feeders has far more to do with the design of the hopper than that of the belt, particularly where long slots are concerned. It is good practice to extract from the whole length of the slot and also provide a inclined transition of the line of convergence from the supply hopper. In the case of very long outlet slots there is often virtue in using intermediate flow inserts to make the extraction profile more efficient and, for wide outlets or large installations, employing longitudinal inserts or slanting outlet connections to reduce the forces acting on the belt.

    If the bins are existing, it is an interesting exercise to develop an optimum design. Brute force is generally not a good solution as it can be expensive on power and maintenance.

  5. Belt feeder for coal

    Dear Mr.Bill,
    Speed of feeder is high. We restrict the speed upto 0.55m/s.Can you not reduce the speed?

  6. #6


    Dear sir
    can you tell me why speed is restricted to 0.6 m/sec or less. I have rovided several belt feeders having speed around 1.0 to 1.2 m/sec.

  7. 0.6m/sec seems to be an old hands rule of thumb.

    Higher speeds mean higher wear.

    Assuming feed from a charged bin, should not be too many issues.

    Slot width to be greater than arching dimension

    Slot length to slot width to be around 3.

    Slot opening to taper 3deg. if possible.

    Shear gate to be located right at the slot opening.

    Skirts on belt to be vertical.

    Skirt sealing design to cater for load pressure...may need inner/outer.

    Feeder should be horizontal.

    Consider belt carry back spillage and clean up.

    Consider belt replacement and resplicing eg have on trolley wheels.

    Drive to be electro/mech., simple shaft mounted with torque arm.

    For variable speed, consider motor size/heating and also material trajectory.

    Feeder power to consider pull out loads and also after filling of bin after been empty...compatction and consolidations pressures.

    Consider haz. area classification and zoning



  8. Belt feeder for coal

    Dear Mr. Singh,
    Mr. Bill wants to install belt feeder below the bunker. You have installed many belt feeder with speed of 1.2m/s.I do not think those are under column load & not shearing the material.Please review.

  9. #9


    DEAR Bill Potma

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