Dust Control & Environment

Gough Plastics’ guardian angles

Gough Plastics has developed a conveyor belt cover that not only reduces dust emissions, but also cuts down on waste and maintenance.

Gough Plastics has developed a conveyor belt cover that not only reduces dust emissions, but also cuts down on waste and maintenance.

An active conveyor belt handling bulk materials will almost always create dust and noise, two things that can harm the nearby environment and population.

One method of containing these emissions is through a belt cover, which encloses the belt and traps any dust that could have escaped. As an added benefit, the material is also protected from the weather and less noise is created.

Typically, these covers are made from fibreglass or steel. Gough Plastics on the other hand, uses low-cost, low-weight polyethylene plastic.

The business began manufacturing the belt covers after a client approached it looking for an alternative to the steel covers that were on the market at the time.

James Gough, Engineering and Mining Sales Consultant at Gough Plastics says the team came up with a design that would be easy to manufacture and fit the client’s needs.

“The properties of polyethylene have been harnessed in the design to help the covers suit the application,” he says.”

“It’s impossible for plastic to rust and it doesn’t dent like steel does if something strikes it. It also doesn’t crack like fibreglass can. You could drop them from heights, and it would simply absorb the impact.”

Called Beltcover, Gough Plastic’s solution uses a modular design to offer as much flexibility for fitting and maintenance. The modular sections have varying lengths of effective cover with two metre, 1.5 metre and one metre options, consisting of multiple models to suit the required belt width. The light-weight sections are easily manoeuvrable for convenient installation and individual sections can be cut to shorter lengths.

Beltcover has been designed to handle some of the harshest environments and conditions, engineered to withstand wind load forces in accordance with AS1170.2 Severe Tropical Cyclones in Regions C and D, Terrain Category 1 up to a height of 30 metres above ground.

The plastic is UV and corrosion resistant, and Gough says they are extremely long lasting.

“We have quite a few Beltcover installations that have been in operation for 15 to 20 years. Our polyethylene material is designed to stand the test of time.” he says.

“It is also recyclable, which has become an advantage as more customers look towards reducing waste and improving their sustainability.”

The Darwin Port Authority is one organisation that uses Beltcover as part of its operations. The Authority has installed around 4123 metres of medium, all-weather Beltcover at wharf loading facilities in the Darwin Harbour to help provide protection to the surrounding environment and to protect the products being conveyed from the extreme external elements in this part of Australia.

The system carries several products such as lead, zinc, and copper concentrate. All covers were fitted in situ to the existing system.

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