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Research Papers

Rotating Resistance of Belt Conveyor Idler Rolls

[+] Author and Article Information
Craig A. Wheeler

Associate Professor
School of Engineering,
The University of Newcastle,
University Drive,
Callaghan 2308, NSW, Australia
e-mail: craig.wheeler@newcastle.edu.au

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING. Manuscript received June 12, 2015; final manuscript received August 25, 2015; published online October 27, 2015. Editor: Y. Lawrence Yao.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 138(4), 041009 (Oct 27, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: MANU-15-1283; doi: 10.1115/1.4031552 History: Received June 12, 2015; Revised August 25, 2015

The primary function of idler rolls in a belt conveyor system is to support the conveyor belt along its length. Predicting the cumulative resistance of idler rolls is vitally important in calculating the belt tension and therefore power requirements of a system, particularly on long overland conveyors where there are typically more than one thousand idler rolls per kilometer of belt. The rotating resistance occurs due to the friction of the rolling elements in the bearings, the viscous drag of the lubricant, and the friction of the contact lip seals. This paper provides theoretical methods to calculate each component of the rotating resistance and describes an apparatus designed to measure this resistance force under simulated operating conditions.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Typical labyrinth seal configurations: (a) Axially aligned labyrinth and (b) Radially aligned labyrinth seal

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Fig. 2

Simplified analysis for axially aligned labyrinth seals

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Fig. 3

Simplified analysis for radially aligned labyrinth seals

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Fig. 4

Details of idler rotating resistance measurement apparatus [8]

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Fig. 5

Idler rotating resistance measurement apparatus

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Fig. 6

Base oil viscosity versus temperature for Shell Alvania EP (LF) 2 and RL 3 mineral oil based greases with a lithium soap thickener

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Fig. 7

Bearing rolling element resistance per idler roll for a range of linear belt speeds and grease temperatures using Alvania RL3 grease

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Fig. 8

Labyrinth seal resistance for a range of equivalent belt speeds and grease temperatures using Alvania EP (LF) 2 grease

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Fig. 9

Idler roll rotating resistance for a ø152 mm idler roll operating at 4 m/s at an ambient temperature of 10 °C for a range of vertical loads

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Fig. 10

Idler roll rotating resistance versus time for a Ø152 mm at 6 m/s: (a) 20 °C ambient temperature and (b) 0 °C ambient temperature

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Fig. 11

Typical breakdown of components contributing to conveyor idler roll rotating resistance

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