Issue: Sep 2006


Goodyear Announces Energy-Saving Conveyor Belt



by Jerrie Colish

Conveyor belt operators can be energy misers, too, thanks to Goodyear Engineered Products' (NYSE:GT) innovative low-rolling resistant rubber cover compound.

The new Goodyear Easyrider conveyor belt cover has been field proven to reduce belt operating costs up to 12 percent, according to Mike Braucher, Goodyear marketing manager of conveyor belt products, who spoke here today at a conveyor belt distributor, fabricator and manufacturer convention, conducted by NIBA-The Belting Association.

With 200 miles of Easyrider belts installed worldwide, energy savings is not an empty promise. "But it could be considered 'idle' talk, since energy savings occur where the rubber belt meets a conveyor system's idlers," said Braucher.

As a belt passes over an idler roller, energy is lost at the contact point, because an indentation occurs on its underside rubber cover. The cover eventually returns to its original shape, but the entire system has to work a little harder to convey its material past that point as more belting moves into place in the continuous cycle.

Easyrider recovers its shape more quickly than conventional rubber compounds. The belt moves more efficiently over idlers, reducing the amount of energy required to run the system.

Lab tests show normal deformation from compression on a belt's idler cover side varies with material loads, but could reach 0.045 inches. It doesn't seem like a lot, says Braucher, but take the minuscule power loss from impact at one idler and multiply it over a typical one-mile system with up to 1,300 idlers, and the energy loss is staggering.

"In fact, pulley indentation can be responsible for as much as 60 percent of the power consumed on a long horizontal conveyor system," said Braucher.

He said low-rolling resistant technology used in Easyrider's advanced rubber compound was developed by Goodyear tire scientists for a recently introduced line of truck tires designed for fuel economy.

With quicker shape recovery, more energy powers actual belt movement, instead of generating heat and noise at the idler indentation points. "It operates more efficiently and creates less heat, which extends belt life," said Braucher.

Easyrider low-rolling resistant technology is intended primarily for long overland conveyor belt systems. "It's easy for us to show operators how this innovative technology can produce bottom-line savings for the long haul," said Braucher.

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