Plastic modular belts at high temperatures – a good choice?

Plastic modular belts at high temperatures – a good choice?

People often think, that plastic is not suitable for higher temperatures because it may melt or burn. However, plastic is surprisingly durable under heat. There is also a difference between the standard plastic and the plastic that we use for our modular belts and chains.

Here is a list of a few standard materials we utilize within their accompanying heat parameters:

Polypropylene (PP) +5 to +105 °C
Polyethylene (PE) -70 to +65 °C
Polyoxymethylene (POM) -40 to +93 °C (up to +60 °C for wet applications)
Polyamide (PA) -46 to +130 °C

Moreover, a number of special materials can withstand higher temperatures thanks to the addition of specific components, up to even +200 °C (+240 °C for shorter periods):

Polyamide (PA+GF) -40 to +145 °C (+175 °C for shorter periods)
Polyamide (PA+HT) -40 to +170 °C (+200 °C for shorter periods)
High Temp Material (+ST) 0 to +200 °C (+240 °C for shorter periods)

Shrink wrap oven

Typically a shrink wrap tunnel runs with 170 – 220 °C air temperature. Even if the belt and the product run through this oven it will not reach the same temperature as the air in the oven. In most cases the belt may reach an average temperature of 120 – 140 °C. Nevertheless, when selecting the material, it is really important to know what the actual temperature of the product and the belt (surface) is. If the wrong material is selected the lifetime of the belt could be quite short.

For example, look at a shrink wrap oven with and air temperature of 160-170 °C. The belt cools down as it turns and it will therefore not reach the air temperature. This makes PA+GF well suitable for such an oven. It will not be necessary to use the more expensive +ST material.

+ST material

The +ST is a very special material, which is suitable for direct food contact, flame retardant and can withstand 200 °C continuous. It is even suitable for microwave applications. Such belt materials are used in fryers, ovens or microwave lines.  It is used in food and other industrial processes where other materials no more work.

PA and POM material

Please be aware that the materials PA and POM are limited with wet applications with temperatures above 60 °C. The materials will degrade and will get brittle soon. In wet environment below 60 °C, PA will absorb moisture, will change dimension and will get soft.

For more information, please feel free to contact us or to see our HabasitLINK Product Guide which gives a detailed overview of our belt types with their corresponding temperature ranges.

 

 

2019 March 7  |  Posted by

Marco Hollander joined the Habasit Netherlands team in September 2000 and works as a Technical Manager. He specializes in modular belts, chains and profiles in the food and material handling industries. He is also well-versed in general conveying and spiral applications. Hollander is always ready to answer questions from customers or Key Account Managers with any technical issues. He speaks Dutch, English and German and enjoys the challenge and variety of his work.

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