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Thread: Conveyor belt Plows

  1. Conveyor belt Plows

    Can someone please direct me to information concerning a plow that can be automated for scraping bulk materials off conveyor belts?

    With thanks


  2. Hi Mike,

    There are a number of self adjusting plows available.

    Richwood Industries has a very positive air controlled system that uses a thick rubber blade for belt cleaning.
    Martin engineering has a system that uses a polymeric tensioner.

    Other systems use gravity tensioners to maintain contact of the cleaner on the belt.

    Major considerations for the cleaning system required include: material being cleaned from the belt, belt speed, space availability for the cleaning system, and likelyhood that the cleaner will be properly maintained. (NO CLEANER WILL WORK FOR LONG PERIODS IF IT IS NOT ADJUSTED AND MAINTAINED ON A REGULAR BASIS.)

    With plows, consider using more than one. The first plow will clear the majority of material and the second, or third, will clear the rest.

    I believe that both Martin and Richwood have web sites and can be easily found -- if not, send me an e-mail and I will give you contact information.

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

  3. #3
    Brian Mackenzie Guest
    Plough off blades are usually unique to the application so we design accordingly. Do you mean a plough to divert material into a chute or hopper or to clean material from the belt?

    Materials Handling Products Ltd is one of the leading spillage control companies in the UK and we will be pleased to design a system for you.

    In our experience "soft" blade materials are rarely successful and I would echo the point about maintenance. The trick is to make it work virtually without maintenance and this is where our expertise can help.

    One final point. If you wish to plough off material to one side of the belt there will be a corresponding deflection of the belt to the opposite side. This had to be catered for in a way which does not damage the belt.

  4. #4
    Sheri Cady - Richwood, USA Guest

    Conveyor Plows

    Please contact our Huntington, West Virginia office and we will be glad to provide you with the information you requested. Email:, phone 800-237-6951 or fax: 304-525-8018.


    Ronni Fox Glaser
    Customer Service Manager

  5. I have to disagree with Dave... It is possible to design a belt cleaner with enough intelligence and reliability that will work for long periods of time without any intervention.
    The major problem is that most people does not want to pay for those solutions and I'm not so sure that it can be justifiable unless safety and well being are issues.
    A cleaning system whatever in a belt or roll needs to be customized or at least properly integrated. Since continuous monitoring and adjustment is needed, the system must be safe and operator-friendly to inspect and adjust.
    Can a system be automated to engage and release? I think that the additional cost to provide these features is minimal.
    Antonio Reis

  6. #6
    Author Guest

    Belt Cleaner

    V Plows Angle plows and all types of Primary & Secondary Belt Cleaners are
    self adjusting by means of polyurethane tensioners and will not damage belts
    with or without CLIPS are available from Arch Enviromental USA for which we
    are Australian Distributors .

    You can check these details out from where you will find a form to fill out .

    Good luck and regards,

    Richard Cox
    R.J. Cox Engineering

    The contact details are Stacy Trevathan < >

  7. Although I hate to admit it, Antonio is correct.

    Cleaners can be designed so that minimal PM work is required. All that would be required is to include two separate I/O (Input/Output) devices in the control system -- one to advise when the plow has reached its Minimum Height and one to advise if material has become lodged between the plow and the belt.

    I am in agreement with him that these solutions are rarely used.

    A more expensive alternative is to place a camera for monitoring the plow, if the control station is manned.

    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
    Author Guest

    Diverter Plow

    Hello Mike,

    Using a plow to divert material off a belt is not a good idea, and at best is a temporary, and "cheap" way of doing this, a proper tripper is still the best.

    Problems with a diverter plow are numerous, the severity being dependent on some, or all of the following:

    Material characteristics, belt speed, belt type, belt width, belt incline, belt loading, diversion to both or one side only, hours of operation, and amount of spillage/ bypasss acceptable.

    All this is because the belt needs to be flat for a fair distance at the diversion position. This can be done with a lifting table under the belt, or a belt support trough with anti- friction liners, where the wing panels can be lowered.

    The plow must be set at an acute angle to the belt <30deg, and if diagonal for one side only diversion, it will be long, and even then a kind of standing wave developes with the material, causing spillage off the wrong end.

    Also at the belt edges there is gap equal to the belt thickness where material escapes. Due to the solid surface under the belt, the plow blade material needs to be resilient to prevent belt damage, and depending on the material, can cause rapid wear of the plow blade, usually towards the centre, creating a gap for material to escape through.

    Pebbles, wet, and fibrous materials seem reluctant to move sideways and wedge themselves under the plow lifting it, then the game is on and you get more and more bypassing and spillage.

    In conclusion I would only consider a plow for short term, temporary operation on low density, dry and fine materials, preferably diverting to both sides, ("V" Plow ) on narrow (up to 36"wide) belts, lightly loaded, that are not inclined upwards, and still be prepared for ongoing maintenance, spillage cleanup, and some bypassing.


    John L. Brink,
    Brelko Conveyor Products Inc.

  9. Your question mentions plows, and as mentioned by you, it is required for scrapping the bulk material off the belt. Your word plow is getting mixed-up (confused) with internal scraper. I would like to clarify about generally used following names :
    Plow : To discharge material from carrying run belt
    V Type internal scraper : It looks like V-type plow but it is of lighter duty and used for return run belt cleaning purpose.

    It would be easier for readers to respond to your question, if you mention whether you are referring to plow discharge or V-type internal scraper.

    I G Mulani.
    Author - Book 'Engineering Science and Application Design for Belt Conveyors'
    Email :

  10. #10
    Lawrence K. Nordell

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    Conveyor Dynamics Inc.

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    Seems like you hit another funny bone and another two cents on the definition. By plow, are you refering to the normal or conventional condition of scaping material from the belt underside or pulley cover surface at the tail?

    This type of equipment is sometimes used at the head end, as well, to protect drive or takup pulleys from trapping rock.

    My following comments are related to the conventional definition of plows:

    Even though these "self cleaning" v-plow or single blade slant plows profess to be long lived (automated to compensate for wear) don't believe it.

    There are many types. The reason is that they only partialy work. Some are designed to work under tension ( be pulled by the belt or belt pulls plow againt a restraint) and others in compression ( the plow pushes against the belt). The latter type is worse in that it can more easily set up vibration, on belt contact, passing muck and splittle, and digs into belt cover - leading to belt damage if unattended. Look at the linkage articulation kinematics. The VEE is preferred because it has "balanced" forces" symmetric about the center (maybe). Spittle has to move half as far to be dumped or half as long to dig at the plow....

    As previously stated, spittle can get by. When the belt vibrates, it passes small pebbles under the plow and bouncing big rocks over the plow. Eventually, this can unevenly wear the plow surface leading to the passing of ever bigger pebbles and abrasive muck. The wear action is dependent on the duty, material, environment, maintenance,...... Ice is another difficulty.

    It should become an axiom - All horizontal plows will pass muck and spittle. Observing the wear mechanism will tell you that.

    One way to partially overcome this pebble bypass problem is to put in a reverse VEE idler set, assuming a full turnover is not justified. Place the plow just before the VEE idler, or better, between two VEE idlers. Incoming pebbles and muck get a gravity boost before hitting the plow and after it. The vibration issue disappears. This concepts needs a little extra space to negotiate.

    I have examined too many belts with broken tensile structures (fabric and steel cord) to believe in the effectiveness of the plow without other aids.

    Lawrence Nordell
    Conveyor Dynamics, Inc.

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