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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How long do urethane belts last?
Q2: Why do Cyclothane belts last longer?
Q3: How can we verify that Urethane Belt's belts last longer?
Q4: What effect does high temperature have on urethane belting?
Q5: What effect does low temperature have on urethane belting?
Q6: How can I determine the maximum belt loading tension on a belt?
Q7: Which size of urethane belt should I use?
Q8: What's the difference between overlap welds and butt welds?
Q9: Why do overlap welds eventually pull apart under high tension?
Q10:Do you make reinforced belts that will not pull apart?

Q1: How long do urethane belts last?
A: A properly-designed, urethane belt in an ideal environment should last many years, but not all urethane belts are of equal quality. The difference in performance between a high quality belt and an average belt can be huge. For example, in two large postal distribution centers 40,000 of our competitor's belts became limp after only 10 months on powered roller conveyors. They were replaced with our HT (High Tension) Blue Cyclothane-B belts, and seven years later those belts are still going strong.  In general the average life for most high-quality urethane belts appears to be about four to six years with a typical range of 2 to 12 years. There are many factors that determine the life of a belt, including duty cycle, pulley size, belt length, belt speed, pulley alignment, ambient temperature and humidity, box weight and bottom surface, conveyor design and level of maintenance. If your belts are wearing out too soon, ask our Belt Doctor for assistance.
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Q2: Why do Cyclothane belts last longer?
A: Several factors combine to make Cyclothane belts last longer:
1) Our proprietary process for extruding 100% virgin urethane. Urethane manufacturers typically recommend using regrind to improve extrudability and weldability, plus cut costs by reusing waste. Unfortunately, regrind also makes belts less resilient, so we don't use it, even though we believe everyone else does. We send our waste to hose manufacturers.
2) Our proprietary process for making Super Strong Welds that are practicably unbreakable -- up to 10 times stronger than conventional joining processes.
3) Our ungouged welds do not neck down much when stretched. Necked belts stretch more at the joint which causes them to get limp prematurely.
4) Our proprietary process for cross-linking long-chain molecules makes our HT belts super resilient at 20% stretch.
5) Our proprietary coloring process lets us color belts after we make them, so that the colorant does not dilute or weaken the urethane.
6) Our superior quality control process -- we inspect 102% of our belts (2% are inspected twice). Compliant with ISO 9000, we constantly strive for improvements.

7) Our World's Longest Belt Warranty induces us to make doubly sure that we ship only high quality belts.

8) Our "Belt Doctor" helps customers find and eliminate problems that cause belts to fail prematurely. Also see next question.
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Q3: How can we verify that Urethane Belt's belts last longer?
A: We are certain that our belts are the most resilient -- so certain that we will send you twenty free belts to test. Put them and our competitors' belts of identical size and durometer on the same conveyor span. After 3 months cut off all the belts and measure their length. Ours should demonstrate their resiliency by being about 1/8" to 1/4" shorter. Conveyor manufacturers often use this test. Now you can too. Greater resilience means more drive, longer life, and less downtime.
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Q4: What effect does high temperature have on urethane belting?
A: Urethane is a thermoplastic, so its physical properties decrease as temperature rises. For example, at 120o F(49o C.) its life span as measured by resiliency declines to about 70% of what it is at room temperature; at 150o F,.(66o C) its resiliency drops to about 10%. If you need elastic, high temperature belts try our Jacketed Spring Belts (patent pending). They will retain resiliency as high as 450o F (232o C.).
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Q5: What effect does low temperature have on urethane belting?
A: Urethane becomes more brittle as temperature decreases. Belts that are allowed to sit overnight in low temperature environments can take a set that is difficult to overcome at start up. This can cause even Super Strong welds to shear apart. Although urethane manufacturers often claim that regular urethane will work down to -10 ° F, we do not recommend using Cyclothane-A below 30 ° F; (0 ° C). Our low temperature Cyclothane-E will work down to -10 ° F (-23° C), but for temperatures below zero F (-18 ° C) we recommend Hytrel ®. It will work down to -40 ° F or C and is especially well suited for ice cream plants. Since Hytrel is not as resilient as urethane, it should not be stretched beyond 7%. Care must be taken not to overstretch it during installation.
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Q6: How can I determine the maximum belt loading tension on a belt?
A: See instructions under the BELT SIZER pull down menu.
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Q7: Which size of urethane belt should I use?
A: See instructions under the BELT SIZER pull down menu.
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Q8: What's the difference between overlap welds and butt welds on reinforced urethane belts?
A: You can easily see the difference between an overlap weld and a butt weld. An overlap weld usually has a big 2" long bump at the joint where the reinforcing cords are overlapped, whereas a butt weld is just a thin line circling the belt. Overlap splices can last a little longer than butt welds if they are perfectly made, but it is hard to make perfect overlaps. A thick layer of urethane must surround each cord. If the two cords touch each other, or if one cord is too close to the surface, the cord pulls out and the belt stretches prematurely. Trying to make perfect overlap welds often produces quite a few rejects, so the price must be higher than for butt welds. (see next question).
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Q9: Why do overlap welds eventually pull apart in high tension applications?
A: Since the reinforced cord is not endless or tied, high tension applications will eventually cause the reinforcement to disbond and slide through the urethane. (See next question for a solution).
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Q10: Do you make reinforced belts that will not pull apart?
A: Our Jacketed Kevlar belt (patent pending) will not normally stretch or come apart at the joint even in high tension applications. For example, our 1/4" urethane Jacketed Kevlar belt (JK belt) typically requires over 500 lbs of force to break. It also has no bump like overlap welds. It probably costs more than overlapped belts, but it should last much, much longer -- long enough to more than pay for itself, not including the savings from reduced downtime. Any flexible material can be use as a jacket, including urethane, PVC, Hypalon, Viton, Nitrile (Buna-N), Neoprene, etc.
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