What's a Cotton Conveyor Belt?
Cotton conveyor belting, is a type of endless seam, and solid woven belting used across an array of industries.
The cotton conveyor belt is traditional used within food manufacturing and production industries; specifically biscuit and cracker production.
However, cotton belts have been used as air slide conveyor belts within pneumatic conveying systems due to the belts high air permeability. The cotton belt may be used in this instance whereby the environment for transporting bulk powder is neutral, and not too hot or cold – the cotton webbed belt is not useful in harsh temperatures.
Important Information on Cotton Belting
Cotton conveyor belting is clearly a very handy conveyor belt system.
Due to its versatility, it can be seen as a perfect solution for varying industries that require industrial belts for manufacturing and production purposes.
But in working with cotton conveyor belts, it’s important to the key information on the belts.
1 - Cotton Belting is Best Suited to Biscuit/Cracker Production
The cotton belt plays a key role throughout the process of biscuit manufacturing being used predominantly in the post roller and moulding stage, and in the post oven stages.
During the rotary moulder phase, whereby the rollers imprint and shape designs onto the dough, the cotton belt is used to extract the dough pieces from the moulding roller and transport the dough biscuits onto the cooking stage of biscuit production.
In order to do this, the extraction and moisture regain must be high enough to take on fattier and greasier dough biscuits. Usually, the percentage regain for a cotton belt is 22%, which makes this the ideal solution for extraction.
This industrial belt can then be used to transport the biscuit from the oven to cool due to it’s high air permeability. The amount of air that permeates through the cotton woven conveyor belt is often relative to the amount of ply depth (most cotton belts use a 4.5mm 3-ply webbing for strength anddurability purposes).
2 - Cotton Belting is a Woven Conveyor Belt
Cotton belts can sometimes get confused with woven conveyor belts mainly due to the fact that they are a form of woven belting.
In woven belting, there are two forms of woven conveyor belts; synthetic woven belts and non-synthetic woven belts.
The difference between the two is mainly down to the type of material the belt is woven from. For example, cotton is a non-synthetic woven conveyor belt. Whereas polyester, and nylon on the other hand, are synthetic woven belting.
It’s worth also noting that nylon and polyester conveyor belts have been known to be used in biscuit manufacturing also, and are used for less fatty and lighter weight biscuits/crackers due to their moisture regain properties. These regain properties range between 4-6% between the two materials.
3 - Cotton Belting Has Three Types of Weaves
Depending on the manufacturing requirements, a cotton conveyor belt can be woven in three ways. The typical instances where a weave must be determined are for:
- The amount of air permeability required from the conveyor belt.
- The amount of extraction and release from the dough pieces in biscuit manufacturing.
The three main types of belting weaves for cotton belts are:
- Plain Weave – the standard weave for cotton belting.
- Broken Twill Weave – used for extracting heavier dough biscuits.
- Twill Weave – used for higher air permeability and release of dough during biscuit manufacturing.
4 - Cotton Conveyor Belting is 'Endless'
Often, cotton conveyor belting is referred to as ‘endless belting’ due to the fact that the belt is used on a rotation and has no splice or seam due to the way that it is woven.
This is to ensure that the belt runs entirely smoothly, without any bumps, which may hinder the production process, if there were to be a seam in place.
The purpose of this is to maintain it’s high durability and resistance to abrasion. This continuous belt is set among two pulley’s and rolls on a continuing rotation basis.
Cotton Belts come in large width, up to 2.2 meters, and can be produced in continuous 300 meter open rolls. Where as in endless belt form, cotton belting can be produced in a circular length of 15 meters.
5 - Cotton Belting has a Longer Lifespan
Cotton Conveyor belts have a long shelf life if stored in a clean room environment. Typically, cotton belts are known for having a longer lifespan that other conveyor belts, and this makes the cotton manufacturing belt a healthy proposition for businesses with specific conveyor system requirements.
However, it is important that the cotton belt is kept in a healthy environment and maintained regularly to ensure the longevity of the belts lifespan.
Manufacturers using cotton conveyor belts must ensure the area has minimum moisture that can help sustain life upto 18 months if not more.
Cotton Belt Manufacturers
The best cotton belt manufacturers around will provide surveying your manufacturing environments situation before providing a full estimate and solution.
This is the correct procurement process for ensuring that the cotton conveyor belt fits the environment it will sit within, and adheres to the manufacturing requirements set by the manufacturer.
An audit should take place to understand the best type of weave, ply, size and width of the belt. It is therefore necessary for a customer to ensure they have done as much of this work upfront in order to work with the cotton conveyor belt supplier to provide the most efficient and cost-effective solution for the manufacturers needs.