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How Fire Retardant Conveyor Belts Can Save You Millions

Fire damage is expensive no matter where it rears its ugly head. Manufacturing plants and fulfillment centers are no exception.

Fires are a serious safety concern, destroy product, create the need for expensive equipment repairs, and result in expensive downtime, and delays in meeting customer delivery requirements.  Conveyor systems accelerate the risk of fire damage because fire can be conveyed throughout the plant at very high rates of speed.   It is estimated that the average insurance claim for a conveyor belt related fire exceeds $8 million dollars.

The most common cause of fire on a belt is the friction generated from a pulley on a stalled or slipping conveyor belt.  Seized idlers and bearings also generate enough heat on the back of a moving belt to ignite fires.  The second cause of fires started with conveyor belts is due to mistracking.  Friction from the belt rubbing on the conveyor can be enough to ignite.  Manufacturing facilities with combustible materials that build up on their conveyor beds such as cardboard, oils, chemicals, and dust are highly susceptible to spontaneous combustion from the heat generated in these conditions. 

Unfortunately, environments that leave manufacturing plants vulnerable to fire damage are common and sometimes impossible to avoid.  Sparks has developed a wide range of fire-retardant or FR conveyor belts that adhere to ASTM D-378 standards to lower your risk.  When properly tested, these belts self-extinguish in less than one minute and the incandescence cannot last more than an average of three minutes. 

Where would we recommend using fire retardant belts?

  • Airports
  • Distribution Centers
  • Mining operations
  • Scrap systems in corrugated plants
  • Fiberglass manufacturing
  • Wood flooring manufacturing
  • Conveyors with exposure to highly combustible chemicals
  • High-speed conveyors
  • Conveyors that are exposed to consistently high temperatures
  • Dry and dusty environments
  • Enclosed spaces

Our highly trained sales team offers an extra set of eyes and ears on your equipment.  Regular walkthroughs give us the opportunity to conduct regular belt and conveyor visual audits.  If there are conditions present that are a fire hazard, we will bring that to your attention and allow your team to:

  • Remove all accumulations of combustible materials along the conveyor belt
  • Correct potential sources of fire such as seized rollers, overheated bearings, or belt misalignment.

Sparks offers a wide range of belt constructions and cover surfaces with industry-proven fire-retardant additives.  These belts regularly operate in demanding environments.  If safety is a concern in your facility, reach out to Sparks and we will be happy to fit your plant with fire retardant belts in critical applications to minimize your risk of fire damage.

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