Air Supported Belt Conveyors
Introduction to Air Supported Belt Conveyors
Air supported belt conveyors use low-pressure air to support the troughed carrying belt and the transported load.
A continuous steel trough forms the belt into the desired cross-sectional shape while air is introduced between the trough and the rubber belting. The weight of the belt and material combined with the smooth belt and trough surfaces ensures that the low pressure air is quickly dissipated over the entire belt surface, lifting the belt very slightly off of the steel trough.
This air 'cushion' is maintained by a series of low-pressure air fans which inject the air into a continuous plenum chamber beneath the troughed belt, thereby eliminating idler rolls along the carrying-strand of the conveyor.
Depending on the particular application the belt at the feed and discharge stations is supported on conventional idler rolls and pulleys.
The air supported belt conveyor offers an efficient means of transporting a wide variety of materials in bulk and the technology offers some benefits which cannot be matched by alternative conveyor systems.
As will be seen below, air supported belt conveyors are only one of the types of belt conveyors available in the market today. Like pipe conveyors for example, air supported belt conveyors are usually branded products which are marketed globally by Vendors and appointed Agents.
For completeness, this Handbook has included such information as has been provided and approved by Vendors in the interests of providing visitors with comprehensive information regarding the bulk materials handling field as a whole. For specific information and further details, contact your local Supplier.
As a general note to this section of the Ckit Handbook, it is important to draw distinction between 'bulk handling' of materials and 'unit handling'. The former refers to the transportation of particulate product(s) on a continuous basis for example, the conveying of lumpy ore from a mine to a processing plant or for transporting coal from a stockyard to a bunker above a crusher.
'Unit handling' on the other hand is generally described as discontinuous as this involves the transportation of for example, packed boxes, filled bags of cement and so forth.
Air supported belt conveyors as described in this Handbook, refers to conveyors which are used to convey products in bulk.