Netherlands-based Dunlop Conveyor Belting have launched a new and totally unique concept in heat resistant conveyor belting, which they claim is the first truly new heat resistant belt construction to be made available to industrial users in decades. OptimaHeat Xtreme is a revolutionary single-ply high heat resistant belt that has been developed in cooperation with its sister company Fenner Dunlop in the USA.
One of the most common reasons why belts claiming to be heat resistant need to be replaced prematurely is that the heat penetrates the inner carcass of multi-ply heat resistant belts causing the plies to separate, resulting in catastrophic failure. The term used to describe this phenomenon is ‘de-lamination’. In order to overcome this problem, the Dunlop engineers and scientists have replaced the conventional multiple layers of fabric with an amazingly tough patented super strength mono-ply fabric, which is exclusively produced in their own in-house weaving facilities. A key advantage of being a single-ply construction is that it is far less prone to delamination. The fabric also has much greater resistance to ripping, tearing and impact compared to a conventional multi-ply carcass.
Stronger in every way
Yet another big advantage is splice strength and reliability. The much higher level of splice efficiency created by the use of a finger splice joint means that up to 90% of the belt’s tensile strength is retained whereas a 2-ply step splice only retains a maximum of 50% and a 3-ply step splice only retains a maximum efficiency of 67%. Although the belt is lighter, thinner and therefore well suited even for relatively small pulleys and drums, the effect it creates is equivalent tensile strengths and belt safety factors that are more than comparable to heavier and thicker 3 or 4-layer conventional belting.
Protecting the fabric carcass is a high heat resistant rubber compound engineered to withstand maximum continuous material temperatures as high as 200°C and extreme peak temperatures as high as 400°C. In addition to its capabilities to resist the usual ‘accelerated ageing’ effects such as the hardening and cracking caused by exposure to extreme temperatures, the major advantages of the Optima Heat Xtreme rubber are its enhanced physical properties including resistance to abrasive wear and superior adhesion strength.
Sales & Marketing Director Andries Smilda is very enthusiastic about the new belt’s future. “We already had fantastic rubber compounds that are proven to handle extreme temperatures over much longer periods than our competitors. But when you combine that heat resistance with a super-strong mono-ply carcass that is much more resistant to impact, ripping and tearing and that has a much more resilient and reliable splice then it means that OptimaHeat Xtreme is as close to being a ‘fit and forget’ heat resistant belt that you will ever find. We think that it is a real ground-breaker”. “OptimaHeat Xtreme is already being manufactured by our sister company in North America and, we are anticipating local production in Europe to begin in the second half of this year”.