Conveyor belts for the food industry are very diverse. In general, it can be said that when food comes into contact with conveyor belts, these belts must meet strict food safety standards. In addition, they must be able to be cleaned properly and safely. That in turn places high demands on the materials that a food grade conveyor belt is made of. The food industry includes the meat processing industry, bread factories, fruit and vegetable processors, animal feed producers, biscuit, biscuit and pastry factories, potato processors, candy factories and fish processors. These various companies within the food industry are provided with product-specific conveyor belt systems. After all, every product behaves differently on a conveyor belt.
What is so special about a food grade conveyor belt?
As described above, the conveyor belts that are designed specifically for the food industry require some significant attention. This is because these belts have to comply to high safety and cleaning standards. Below is a list of potential issues when operating with a food grade conveyor belt:
- adhesion of product
- starch deposits
- metals and other foreign substances that end up with the product
- large temperature differences due to cooling, freezing and baking complicate the transport of product
Therefore, it is very important to do some research amongst the different types of conveyor belts before making a purchase. The section below describes four types of conveyor belts.
What different types of a food grade conveyor belt are available?
Essentially, there are four types of food grade conveyor belts, meaning the belts can be made from three different sources of material. The first type of food grade conveyor belt is the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) belt. Taking into consideration the costs of operating, this belt is a very economical option. The price of this belt is not so high because it is made from PVC. Besides, because of its plasticity, the PVC belt knows a high ease of use. On the other hand, the PVC belt has a poor wear resistance when in operation and a poor oil resistance. Therefore, it would not be wise to use this type of belt in processes through which oils are transported.The second type of food grade conveyor belt is polyurethane (PU). In contradiction with the PVC, the PU knows a high wear resistance and good oil resistance, making the PU belt an excellent choice for using in oil-related processes. However, the PU belt is quite expensive and has a weak acid resistance. The third type of food grade conveyor belt is the polyolefin (PE) belt. This belt is the best belt for grading food and has a good resistance to heat. This type of belt is the perfect fit to the food and pharmaceutic industry, yet not recommended for other industries. The fourth and final type of food grade conveyor belt is de Si belt. This belt is a good fit for the food industry, can stand heat very well and sugary food will not stick to the belt. On the downside, this belt is quite expensive has low hardness and its rolling quality is not that good.