The University of Newcastle has undertaken a systematic research program to identify, model and measure key design elements to reduce the energy consumption of belt conveyors. Research outcomes include the development of theoretical models to accurately predict the main resistances of belt conveyors, in parallel with developing extensive test facilities to verify the new models and to provide industry with data that can be used directly in the design process.
This presentation discusses the application of these models and test results for conveyor design, demonstrating the advantages of informed component selection to not only reduce energy consumption, but also total cost of ownership. In particular, the combination of design parameters is discussed in relation to the rotating resistance of idler rollers, conveyor belt indentation rolling resistance and conveyor belt and bulk material flexure resistance. Through a combination of theoretical models and measured data, trends are identified to assist in the design of energy efficient belt conveyor systems.
Professor Craig Wheeler
Professor Craig Wheeler is Associate Director of TUNRA Bulk Solids and a Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He worked for 10 years with BHP Billiton in Australia in a variety of engineering positions, including maintenance, production and design. Since joining the University he has worked as a consultant for TUNRA Bulk Solids for over 10 years. His particular interests include belt conveying, transfer chute design and mechanical conveying.
Dr Peter Robinson
Dr Peter Robinson completed his PhD studies on the "Dynamics of Open and Closed Belt Conveyor Systems Incorporating Multiple Drives". This thesis targeted the impact of enclosed belt designs on the propagation of dynamic behaviour along the belt. In addition to this, Dr Robinson developed models to predict major drag resistances along the belt, and analysed how multiple drive systems can be utilised to dampen and control conveyor transients. Since completing his PhD in 2015, Dr Robinson has continued to work as a Research Associate with the Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies. His main areas of expertise involve design of belt conveyors and mathematical modelling, dewatering of materials and self-heating of coals on board vessels.
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