By increasing belt friction, decreasing abrasive wear and preventing accumulated material and debris, pully lagging is vital in protecting the pulleys of belt conveyor systems. It is a layer of material glued to the shell of the conveyor belt pulley, usually covering rubber, ceramic, polyurethane or other materials. The material you choose is highly dependent on your specific application, as we explain in our blog how to choose a lag for your operation.

1. Why using polyurethane lagging on conveyor belts

Polyurethane, also known as plastic lagging, has become more and more popular in applications without drive pulleys, where there are concerns about transport accumulation between the belt and the lagging. It can be a sheet or a strip, can be bonded with a rubber backed polyurethane, or can be cast directly on the pulley shell. Compared with the rubber back plate, it has a service life of 3-5 times longer and has higher abrasion resistance. The low friction coefficient causes the polyurethane to form a lagging with the belt bottom cover, which is an ideal solution for premature belt wear. Polyurethane lagging also poses a small risk to the belt cover. It is usually used on elbow pulleys with slippage between the belt and the lagging surface.

However, cast polyurethane lagging is a very expensive application and extremely difficult to repair. It usually uses only rubber or ceramic lagging which has proven to be less durable. In addition, the polyurethane lag can last up to 5 years before the pulley needs to be refurbished. As mentioned earlier, this is a very expensive and labor-intensive process, so polyurethane is recommended only for non-driven pulleys on curved pulleys and overturning conveyors.

2. Why Using ceramic lagging on conveyor belts

Ceramic lagging is a popular application, where slip or high wear is a concern because it is more durable than rubber. The most common ceramic lagging utilizes smooth or recessed tiles, both of which provide significantly increased friction, grip, and tracking of the belt.

3. Advantages of ceramic lagging

1) The ceramic tile is very resistant to abrasion, so it can handle rougher materials, and the recess can significantly improve the traction of the drive pulley.

2) The ceramic coverage of the coating surface can be customized according to your application and requirements, and the ceramic coverage of 13%, 39%, and 80% can be selected.

3) The ceramic lagging agent has a longer service life and significantly reduces the wear of the lagging agent.

4) The smooth ceramic backing plate is the best choice for the driveless head wheel; it has a flat surface for efficient operation of belts and belt cleaners.

There are not too many negative factors to consider when installing ceramic backplanes, but it is best to get expert help when choosing the right backplane type for your belt conveyor system. For example, when choosing a ceramic back plate with a socket, according to the design of the conveyor, if the belt slips, it will show that the belt claw or the bottom cover is damaged, because the belt socket will clamp the back of the belt. Therefore, it makes sense to talk to trusted experts when deciding what delay is best for your system.

4. Which belt conveyor has the best lagging performance?

Both polyurethane and smooth ceramic lagging are acceptable choices when deciding which lagging is the best for your driveless pulley. However, if you want to make a cost-effective decision that will increase your productivity in the long term, full ceramics is the best choice.

In most applications, the maximum service life of the polyurethane film is 5 years, and the smooth ceramic film has been proven to be used for at least 20 years in the same application. Not only the initial product and installation costs are lower; you also save yourself the cost of replacing pulleys with a lag of at least three to four times the service life.

5. Suggestion

Despite its popularity and low price, a pulley lag should be suited to your specific application, which includes conveyor design, belt speed, product wear, and pulley type. It is vital that your operation has expert assistance in determining these factors and choosing the right material.

At Beltcare, we sincerely believe in finding the best solution and technology for your specific application and operating conditions.