Ever since Melbourne-based construction and demolition material recycler, City Circle Group, were introduced by their CBC sales manager to the high-performance Gates belts a few years ago, there’s been no looking back for them, according to City Circle Group’s Recycling Operations Manager Josh Ralston.
Recycling construction material and waste generated from building demolitions is a highly challenging task. The process involves crushing heavy concrete blocks and large pieces of rock into crushed aggregates that can be re-used in pavement or road construction.
City Circle Group, is one of the leaders in this field in Victoria and has considerable capacity to process and supply a range of high quality recycled concrete, rock, brick rubble and timber products to the Victorian construction industry.
The company owns three facilities across Melbourne, each of which has the capacity to recycle as much as 1.5 million tonnes of waste material per year.
Ralston says the belts they were using prior to switching to Gates were not as durable as they needed them to be. With the heavy work load and the harsh work environment, the City Circle Group team were looking for belts that would require minimal maintenance and last a long time.
“We’ve worked with CBC for nearly five years and they’ve always been very helpful and quick to respond whenever we needed any equipment or spare parts. Through CBC, we were introduced to Gates belts and we’ve simply never stopped using them since,” says Ralston.
“We use the Gates Predator v-belts in our jaw crushers and cone crushers. They are the strongest belts out there and we are getting three to four times more life out of them as we could get with any other belts, the design, construction and materials used in this belt really do make a difference and will save you money and down time. We also use a range of standard Gates belts, including the Gates Hi-Power II wrapped v-belts on conveyor belts and other general applications,” he adds.
Building materials account for about half of all materials used and about half of the solid waste generated worldwide.
In Australia, about 20.4 million tons of waste was generated from construction and demolition in 2017, of which more than 7.3 million tons went into landfills.
But the push to increase recycling in the sector is growing, with the Federal and state governments each having policies in place to increase their recovery rates by 2021-2022.
A part of this increased demand for waste recycling will inevitably be borne by the existing plants, highlighting a need for the recycling plants to streamline their operations and add capacity where possible.
One of the ways by which existing operations could operate with better efficiencies is by switching to higher capacity drive systems, according to Steve Hittmann, National Product Manager of Mechanical Drives at CBC Australia.
“Gates belts are among the high-end v-belts in the market. For recycling applications such as in the crushing or mulching machine that works continuously under peak loads, we recommend using a high-end product such as the Gates Predator and Super HC v-belts,” he says.
“The Gates Super HC belts are ideal for transmitting high horsepower on high-speed applications where space is limited. Despite their small cross sections, they feature higher tensile strength than the conventional rubber belts,” he adds.
Iain Street, Business Development/ Technical Support Manager for Power Transmission at Gates, concurs.
“While the Gates Predator v-belts are the toughest belts in the range, the Gates Super HC belts are the next in class.
They can handle up to three times more force than the industry standard v-belts or carry the same power at one third or half the space, and with all sizes meeting the Gates V80 tolerances, can be installed without matching” he says.
“The Flex Weave wrapping on the Super HC belts adds additional protection against oil, dirt and heat – all of which may be present in a recycling environment,” he adds.
Street, who has been working in the power transmission sector for over 25 years, says poor installation and poor maintenance are the most common reasons that belts fail prematurely.
“If belts are not tensioned correctly during installation or if the pulleys are not aligned properly, it increases the risk of belt failure. Belt re-tensioning is another important maintenance practice that tends to get overlooked,” he explains.
All of Gates belts that carry the V80 logo match all other V80 belts of the same type and size. These include the Gates Hi-Power, Super HC and Tri-Power belts.
“When a number of belts work together in a group, a length difference of even a fraction of an inch can make or break the belt drive. If the belts are not matched correctly, this leads to uneven load distribution and sheave wear, which ends in premature failure of the belt. The Gates Super HC belts are V80 matched belts; which means that they meet the tolerances set out by the Rubber Manufacturers Association,” he explains.
Street says as part of the Gates engineering technical services, Gates’ field team members visit and survey any plant along with the relevant CBC team member to provide on-site solutions, ranging from drive performance evaluation, belt tensioning, laser alignment and more.
Additionally, the Gates engineering technical team also conducts preventive maintenance training upon request to train the maintenance crew on the most common causes of poor belt life.
The Design Flex Pro belt drive design software is another tool that helps the operators in designing the drive system and checking if the existing belts are sufficient to carry the incoming loads, according to Street.
“The software is relatively easy to use. By inputting only a few parameters, the program will recommend different configurations for the belt type, number and length. All you need to do then is select the solution that best suits your requirements,” he says.
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