When it comes to paper and cardboard recycling, Australia is relatively well-positioned globally. The National Waste Report 2018 shows that about 60 per cent of Australia’s paper and cardboard waste is recycled, with other estimates putting the figure as high as 87 per cent.
All paper or cardboard recycling processes often begin by shredding the raw material in an industrial shredder – also known as a mulcher – before moving on to pulping, de-inking, drying and rolling of new paper.
Overloading or feeding wet cardboards into a mulcher can send shock loads to the machine, resulting in the drive not performing to its optimum capacity.
This was the case with an operator using a 250-horsepower mulcher – their existing v-belts tended to slip under the severe load conditions, which eventually caused the belts to fail prior to their required service lives.
Since synchronous belts rely on tooth grip and not on slip (as is the case with v-belts), the drive system also needed to be replaced. The CBC team proposed using 56-tooth and 112-tooth driven sprockets to replace the existing drive system of the paper and cardboard mulcher.
Steve Hittmann, CBC Australia’s National Product Manager for Mechanical Drives, says the solution enabled the plant operators to run the mulcher to desired capacity, without requiring any maintenance in the 18 months that followed their installation.
“The Gates Poly Chain GT Carbon belt gave the site the ability to operate the mulcher at their desired level of severe shock loads. The belts have been working without any slip under high load conditions, resulting in maintenance-free and higher capacity operations,” says Hittmann.
Poly Chain is a polyurethane belt that replaces traditional roller chain applications for power transmission. It uses carbon fibre tensile cords to provide an increased power carrying capacity and extended flex fatigue life, helping it withstand shocks, surge loading and heavy abrasion.
In addition, Hittmann says the Gates Poly Chain synchronous belts offer energy saving benefits when replacing v-belts, older synchronous belts and chain drives.
“Since v-belts have thicker cross sections than synchronous belts, they need more energy to bend around sheaves. Gates Poly Chain synchronous belts offer up to 5 per cent energy savings over v-belts,” he explains.
Synchronous belts are toothed and require the installation of mating grooved sprockets. These belts maintain their efficiency over a wide load range. In applications where v-belts lose their efficiency at high torque due to increased slippage, synchronous belts can offer a better solution.
“The Gates Poly Chain synchronous belts require minimal maintenance and re-tensioning and run slip-free,” says Hittmann.
Poly Chain GT Carbon belts operate on Poly Chain GT sprockets and do not require any adaptation of existing GT applications.
Gates distributes its power transmission products through CBC and the two companies work closely to support the Australian market with their technical expertise. CBC operates more than 35 branches across Australia, with each branch employing experienced product managers and engineering support teams to provide everything from design, installation and fitment.
If recycling plant owners wish to re-design their plants to reduce downtime and increase their efficiency, they can contact the CBC support team, who will conduct a thorough survey to come up with the best solutions. They also offer training for maintenance staff if necessary, according to Hittmann.
“Gates and CBC have had a strong relationship going back to the early 90s and have both grown in that period,” he says.
“The combined expertise of CBC and Gates specialists ensures that customers get the best belts and drives solutions for their plants.”
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