Archive: Mar 2024

How Do Conveyor Belts Work?

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Frequently used in commercial or industrial environments, conveyor systems carry and transport materials along a moving belt. Conveyor belts lend efficiency to an expansive range of manufacturing and fulfillment operations, as they facilitate the reliable and continuous transfer of high volumes of materials and goods.

Conveyor belts are built from a variety of components that facilitate proper function and safe handling of products and materials. One such product is the conveyor belt gripper, which aids in keeping products securely fixed to the conveyor belt.

An Overview of Conveyor Belts

Conveyor belts consist of a large moving belt upon which products can rest as they are transported. The belt is designed in a loop shape and affixed to conveyor rollers, which in turn are connected to several rotors. The rotors are powered by motors, and the belt begins to move when the motors are switched on and the rollers begin turning.

The belt itself is most frequently composed of several layers of rubber. The first layer is what gives structure and support to the conveyor belt, while the second layer comes into direct contact with the materials the belt is transporting.

In order to ensure that the products do not shift or lose their balance as they are being transported, manufacturers can install chain grippers onto their conveyor belts. In some conveyor setups, there is no belt at all, and products are gripped firmly on either side by rubber conveyor chain grippers and moved along the determined path. This latter method is common bottling applications. Chain grippers are vital to the safety of products in setups where they are needed.

How to Choose the Right Conveyor Belt

Depending on the desired application, conveyor belts are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. In order to ensure that manufacturers can get the most out of this machinery, choosing the appropriate conveyor belt for the intended use is vital. The first point to consider is which belt material will be best suited for the project. Options include but are not limited to:

  • Rubber
  • Leather
  • Polyester
  • Nylon

Next, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing a conveyor belt, including:

  • Dimensions
  • Product specifications
  • Decline/incline requirements
  • Environmental conditions


After choosing the material, determining the dimensions of the conveyor belt is the most important step. By accurately gathering the available dimensions, belting representatives are immediately able to rule out certain belt options and settle on the most viable choices.

Product Specifications

Which type of conveyor belt will be most appropriate depends heavily on the types of products it will be transporting. It is specifically important to note the following factors:

  • Weight, Conveyor belts can bend or warp under the weight of heavy materials, so it is vital to choose a belt that is specifically designed to carry the weight of your product.
  • In order to prevent products from becoming entangled in the conveying machine or falling off the side of the belt, the belt should be sized such that the products can comfortably fit on its surface.
  • To ensure the longevity of the belt, consider the material of the products themselves—for example, the sharp edges of metal products can damage a belt that is not designed to withstand wear and tear.

Decline and Incline Requirements

If the conveyor belt will need to operate on inclines or declines, it is possible that products will slip and render the belt ineffective. In order to avoid this scenario, additions such as stoppers or grippers can be highly beneficial to ensure that objects stay in place.

Environmental Conditions

Not all conveyor belts are able to withstand extreme temperatures or product spills. As such, understanding the type of environment in which the conveyor will be placed, as well as what types of materials it will transport, is a vital step in choosing the appropriate belt.

Houston Products Can Help Complete Your Conveyor Belt System

Conveyor belts can drastically increase the efficiency and convenience of any manufacturing project. In order for these machines to function at their best, it is important for their operators to fully understand each project’s individual requirements; this way, they can determine when products such as grippers can be implemented to further increase the success of the project.

At Houston Products, we provide a variety of grippers to help ensure the efficient functioning of your conveyor belt system. Our specialized rubber chain grippers are incredibly durable, and are made from highly engineered custom EPDM rubber materials.

Grippers play an essential role in the functionality of many conveyor belt systems. We offer a wide range of grippers so you can always find the perfect match for your conveyor setup. A few products we offer include:

  • D style grippers
  • Soft touch grippers
  • Finger grippers
  • Mini grippers
  • Assembled conveyor grippers

Our team is always happy to help you learn more about which type of gripper is the best fit for your needs—don’t hesitate to contact us today.