An OEM was interested in prolonging the lifecycle of a feed tire in their high-speed mail scanner. The OEM, an existing client, approached us to engineer a new version with enhanced wear resistance.
The existing belts were constructed from isoprene and were degrading due to friction from fast moving pulleys. The customer was in dire need of stronger belts, as the feed tires were literally melting during the mail scanning process.
Our team of design engineers set out to improve the materials used to increase the longevity of the belt, while maintaining the necessary characteristics required by the application. The feed tire design was revamped by changing the material from isoprene to a mill urethane substrate and then adding a non-glazing blue rubber cover that we co-molded.
This new design provided the necessary coefficient of friction to keep envelopes and paper from sliding off the belt; the design also provided the desired extended resistance to wear and abrasion.
However, the challenge was to develop a molding process to bond urethane to natural rubber, which involved considerable research and development efforts. While the customer liked our design, they were impatient, and took the design to another belt manufacturer. Unfortunately, the feed tire they produced underperformed.
In the meantime, for two years Belt Corporation of America continued to pursue our goal and developed a breakthrough method for molding rubber over urethane. We also had a strategic advantage: the ability to mill urethane at close-dimensional tolerances, which is a notoriously difficult task. Due to our perseverance and technical competence, Belt Corporation was contracted by the OEM to begin production.
Measuring 2.5” ID x .610” in width x .25” in thickness and produced to within ±.005” tolerances, these feed tires are constructed from natural blue rubber molded over a urethane liner. The feed tires feature a ground surface finish and exhibit outstanding wear properties. In use, they outperform the previous product by a factor of almost 7 to 1. While the older version wore out after 300,000 cycles, our upgraded version performs reliably for more than 2 million cycles-a remarkable improvement.
Belt Corporation of America’s diligence and hard work improved the quality and performance of this OEM client’s mail sorting equipment. Contact us today if you are interested in more information about Belt Corporation of America.
Product Name and Description
Feed Tire for High-Speed Mail Scanner
Width - .610"
Blue Natural Rubber
Industry for Use
5,000-6,000 a Year