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Thread: Problems with Belt Tracking and Big Lumps

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 05

    Problems with belt tracking and big lumps


    I am trying to engineer a conveyor belt to handle big lumps (up to 1500 mm long) discharged from an Apron feeder. I am considering on using a belt of 2600 mm width and of 40 mm thickness.

    Due to the maximum lumps dimensions and the biggest belt width available in the mark, the profile of the conveyor belt has to be flatter than the standard conveyor belt.

    I am anticipating excentric loads of material falling on the belt (despite of the Apron feeder maximum speed of 0.4 m/s) and as a result of that, huge forces steering the belt of track.

    One solution I am contemplating is using an “automatic belt tracking system”. Does anybody know a suitable “tracking/alignment” system for this application?

    Does anyone have faced an application similar to this? I would greatly appreciate if you could share your experiences with me.

    Thanks in advance,



  2. Dear Mr. LJAM,

    Please mention the name of material, its bulk density and its lump density. The handling of lumps of 1500 mm by belt conveyor is a very exceptional situation. Whether the belt conveyor can deal with such lump depends upon the material. In case if you have material like lignite, one can look for the possibility of use. However if the material is like granite, the use of belt conveyor is ruled out.
    Please also specify the shape of lumps i.e. expected width, length and depth for design considerations. It is understood that the 1500 mm you are referring is corner to corner largest dimensions and the maximum size lumps. Also mention the % of maximum lumps, along with average size gradation.

    The material loading will require the special considerations and layout, if it is possible to handle.

    Generally people put primary crusher immediately at the source of such material and reduce it to manageable size for handling by belt conveyor. This results into economical and standard way for handling such material.

    The subject issue also depends upon the length of conveyor. Please mention the length of conveyor.
    If the conveyor happens to be relatively short, and you have decided to handle it by belt conveyor then it is possible to have central roller of longer length.
    My above information does not imply that I am agreeing to use belt conveyor for handling of lumps in your specific installation. My reply is only in context of the investigation.

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

  3. Hello LJAM
    I have done such an installation before to handle 1800mm long lumps on a belt conveyor.
    I am also currently involved with the design of a very wide heavy duty conveyor for huge lumps of iron ore

    The secret is to load the belt correctly with the best possible chute configuration, and also use the correct idler configuration.

    Don't even think of automatic belt tracking for this application.
    For details of the idler configuration I have developed for this application you can send me an e-mail at and I can reply directly.
    (I would appreciate the duty requirements though, then I can help you properly)
    LSL Tekpro
    Graham Spriggs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 02


    Dear Mr. LJAM,

    We have alot of experience in the recycling business. There you also can have big lumps weighing 2.000 kgs.
    My advise is to support the belt at the intake with a 20 mm thick plate and a steelplate for the rest of the belt too if th ebelt conveyor is not that long. For bigger lenght a combination of rollers and glide plates. In this case you will have no steering problems and will simple sensors and automatic steering rollers in the returm part be enough.

    kind regards,

    Jur Lommerts
    Jansen & Heuning Bulk Handling Systems

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 03

    problems with belt tracking and big lumps

    Unfortunately we do not supply conveyor belt systems.
    But if you need to install conveyor belt scrapers or need a dust suppression system, you are more than welcome to contact us.

    Please refer to our website for further information (

    Best regards
    B+w GmbH

  6. #6
    rob drohan Guest

    belt tracker

    Dear LJAM

    Please view the above web page, to receive details of the AceIBT
    'Intelligent Belt Tracker' which may provide you with a solution to your problem


    Rob Drohan
    Chief Executive
    Ace Conveyor Equipment Ltd

  7. LJAM:

    I agree with Graham Spriggs, that an automatic belt tracking system is not a good approach.

    If large lumps are unavoidable, consider the use of a grizzly to absorb the impact and to place the lump centrally on the belt. (Trip wires, profile gates, light sensors, or other I/O device should be used to shut the system down if too big of a lump is passed to the belt. This will prevent belt or system damage.) In addition to a grizzly, design your chute so that good loading is achieved.

    A major concern is the potential plugging of your load chute and grizzly, if so equipped, by oversized lumps. The answer to that concern is to prevent large lumps from getting to that point.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 05
    I thank all for your replies. Please find more details of the application:

    *Conveyor length Head-Tail: 54 m

    *Belt feeder fed from Apron Feeder (2.4 m wide)

    *Belt width 2.6 m

    *Width of loading boot 2 m

    *Belt Goodyear Plylon Plus 1000/4, 25/10 covers, 44 thick

    *Belt cover hardness 54-64 shove A, rating 315 kn/m

    *Lump Dimensions 1500 x 1500 x 1000

    *Lump Specific gravity 3680 kg/m3 (Cu/Ag Ore)

    *Lumps Mass 8500 Kg

    *Drop height 2.9 m at inlet end of loading boot.

    *Conveyor is indexing (i.e. can move in the longitudinal direction 2.5 m).


  9. #9

    Problems with Belt Tracking and Big Lumps

    Mr. LJAM,

    I have had occasion to engineer and supply belt feeders for very severe applications, including direct loading, of blasted copper ore, by 240 ton end dump trucks and conveying the material to the mouth of a primary gyratory type crusher. Belt training is not the main worry.

    The system must be designed on the one hand to minimize the impact at loading (by curved profile scallping grizzly and by special care in operational procedure) and on the other hand to absorb very high impact load since it will occur. The design included large live shaft rolls with very thick rubber lagging. These vary for severity of their location, being supported on spring suspensions at the loading area.

    Joseph A. Dos Santos, PE
    Dos Santos International
    531 Roselane St NW
    Suite 810
    Marietta, GA 30060
    Tel: 1 770 423 9895
    Fax 1 866 473 2252
    Email: jds@
    Web Site:

  10. #10
    rbentzel Guest
    Bust the lumps first. this will be more economical.
    60" x 48" budget $ 50,000 USD

    If interested please e-mail contact info.

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