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Dust control systems ensure environmental protection

An image of ScrapeTec’s AirScrape

AIRSCRAPE The contact-free AirScrape conveyor belt skirting system significantly reduces material spill, dust formation and explosion hazards at transfer points and other critical sections in the conveyor chain

3rd March 2023

     

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Bulk materials handling specialist BLT WORLD’s team works closely with German conveyor solutions provider ScrapeTec to offer the mining sector in Africa advanced solutions for conveyor systems used in the handling of coal.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way business is done and will permanently alter how production plants operate and how all industries function. It has become even more critical that extra care is taken to protect people working in potentially dangerous environments,” says BLT WORLD MD Ken Mouritzen.

It is the responsibility of companies to minimise people’s exposure to environmental pollution, which is a major problem in dry bulk handling, caused by fugitive dust, adds Mouritzen.

AirScrape, DustScrape, TailScrape and SpeedScrape products, which encompass the latest technology, have been developed by ScrapeTec to provide dependable solutions for specific problems – such as dust, spills and contamination – at the transfer points of conveyor systems.

These highly efficient systems prevent dust formation, reduce material spill, enable thorough belt-cleaning and minimise the risk of explosion at critical sections along the conveyor route and at transfer points.

“Although conventional dust prevention side-seals do reduce conveyor problems in the short term, they quickly wear out as a result of friction and can also damage the belt of the conveyor during extended periods of use.”

ScrapeTec’s robust systems, which are “virtually maintenance-free”, extend the service life of conveyor belts and reduce cleaning requirements of the entire conveyor system. Apart from cost-efficient operation, these products also contribute to occupational safety, environmental protection and safety, by minimising dust generation and contamination.

The contact-free AirScrape conveyor belt skirting system is a highly effective side seal that lies over the conveyor belt, without contact, and creates negative pressure on the belt, owing to its specially-designed lamella structure. As this system hovers freely above the conveyor belt, skirt friction and belt damage are eliminated and service life of every component of the conveyor is extended, says Mouritzen.

Moreover, unlike conventional skirting, it is not pressed against a conveyor belt to keep dust and material in the middle of the belt. Using conventional skirting means that, after a period, wear of the skirting and belt is so severe that material and dust escapes. This results in increased downtime as material spillage at transfer points must be removed and regular maintenance of belt skirting and transfer points must be conducted.

Conversely, studies show that even five years after installation and with continuous use in harsh conditions, the AirScrape system “hardly shows any signs of wear”. Operational costs are also reduced as there is no need for spillage collection, regular maintenance, or replacement parts.

This durable system consists of non-flammable and antistatic polyurethane materials and blades made from Hardox/Stainless Steel.

The TailScrape system enhances performance of the AirScrape by sealing the transfer tail in the rear area and working according to the Venturi concept, to prevent dust generation and material spills. The intelligent blade structure on the underside of the system creates negative pressure in the conveying area, preventing the escape of materials, notes Mouritzen, adding that dust is kept in the material flow by air intake.

TailScrape is mounted to the existing AirScrape system, sealing the transfer to the bend, averting dust generation and material spillage, as well as reducing the risk of explosion.

For production areas with excessive dust generation, BLT WORLD recommends installation of the DustScrape. This dust emission prevention system comprises a filter cloth, support arches and skirts, arms to hold the system above the belt and a rubber curtain to eliminate further dust development – all sized to specific requirements.

“This system is easy to install and can be retrofitted to existing conveyors, for continuous operation and for extended periods.”

The durable filter cloth – which retains dust particles created by conveyed materials, while remaining permeable to circulating air –  is available with different qualities, including antistatic features.

He says the system complies with most new dust prevention guides and prevents health and safety issues on-site. It also minimises product loss, by effectively preventing material from being blown into the surrounding environment.

Meanwhile, the SpeedScrape secondary belt cleaner design is based on the inclined and staggered positioning of tungsten blades, which increases the scraping surface to as much as 150% of the conveyor belt width, allowing scraped material to be easily discharged.

The PrimeTracker ensures the belt is constantly in the correct position during operation, eliminating problems with belt mistracking.

In addition, the company’s newly designed SureSupport system efficiently reinforces the belt and prevents belt sag at the infeed, which is normally caused by the impact energy of falling materials being conveyed. Specially designed sliding rails prevent belt damage and tightness of the transfer is increased with the use of a combination skirting and sealing system that ensures even belt tracking.

SureSupport operates in conjunction with ScrapeTec’s AirScrape side seal, providing a high performance, dust-free and contactless skirting solution. Other advantages include quick and simple installation, as well as reduced maintenance time and costs.

These advanced conveyor belt systems –  which meet stringent quality, safety and environmental standards – are available directly from BLT WORLD, which provides an assessment and solutions service to customers in diverse sectors. A technical advisory and support service enhances performance of every system.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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