At a Glance:

  • Designers can specify customized metal belts with a variety of perforation patterns, attachments and surface coatings.
  • Metal belts don’t generate dust or dirt.
  • Metal belts can be used with pulleys to provide precise, cyclical movement of parts and products.

Conveyor belts date back to the end of the 18th Century, when they were hand-operated and made from leather belts and wooden beds. Over the years, technological advances have introduced new power sources such as steam and electricity, and new materials to belt design. Belt materials have included rubber, PVC, nylon, cotton, polyester and metal, among others.

Here’s a look at metal belts, their features and benefits, advantages and disadvantages, and whether or not they’re right for your engineering or design application.

Metal Belts 101
Here are some of the notable features of metal belts:

High strength-to-weight ratios. Stainless steel has a tensile strength ranging from of 180 to 300 KPSI, depending on the alloy and temper chosen. Relatively thin and light-weight belts can be designed to handle the stresses of almost any application. Accordingly, metal belts are strong contenders in countless applications where strength, light weight or both are needed during production. The high strength and low weight let more of the conveyor’s input horsepower be devoted to moving the product and not the belt, which boosts efficiency and reduces operating expenses.

Customizable. Metal belts can be customized with perforation patterns, attachments and surface coating options.

Read more: Are Metal Conveyor Belts Right for Your Application?