The conveyor belt is a wondrous invention that has propped up the warehouse management system for as long as we can remember. This mechanical unit provides safe, seamless support when getting all manner of goods from A to B, a fact that makes it particularly popular within the backroom operations of warehouses, distribution centres and facilities serving a wide range of industry sectors.

As more and more businesses look for a cost-effective and efficient way to handle, process and transport the materials that are crucial to them and their customers, conveyor belt usage is rapidly increasing. With this, there’s greater availability and better advancements, making conveyor belts more automated and beneficial than ever.

Choosing the right conveyor belt for your facility isn’t easy. There is a diverse variety of conveyor belt types constructed using differing conveyor materials. The following guide offers an introduction to these conveyor belt types so you can find a conveyor belt that suits your business, its productivity goals and its budget.


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what is a conveyor belt?

Put simply, a conveyor belt system is a mechanical handling unit that’s utilised to transfer materials from one location to another. With the use of a conveyor belt, organisations serving all industry sectors can transport a plethora of materials, including small to medium-sized parcels, loose goods, and even heavy, bulky or hazardous items.

Regardless of the conveyor belt types used, conveyor belt applications unlock many benefits, especially in the logistics and e-commerce industries. The ease of handling and transportation throughout the warehouse environment can dramatically cut manual labour costs, reduce the risk of human error, enhance workplace safety, improve the use of space in warehouses, boost operational efficiency and throughput, and deliver flexibility and scalability businesses need to grow.

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how do conveyor belts work?

Despite their importance across several industry sectors, the conveyor belt system itself is relatively straightforward. The vast majority of conveyor systems use a belt powered by pulleys, with a rotor used to keep things moving. Most conveyor belt types can run across large areas without sagging thanks to their use of rollers. Whilst conveyor belt routes with lots of twists and turns use specially developed conical rotors to prevent tears and tangles, and preserve product capacity and quality.

Along with a sufficiently supported belt and electrically powered pulley system, modern-day conveyor belts use a drive unit to move and operate just as they should do. Using counter bearing, this component keeps all the vital conveyor materials moving, and can be adjusted to change the direction of movement across many conveyor belt types.

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what are the different types of conveyor belts?

Due to the wide range of conveyor belt applications now possible, there are several conveyor belt types to choose from. Read on to discover the conveyor belt types currently accessible, including the conveyor materials they use to get the job done and the benefits they could help harness for your business.

solid, general-use belts

Let’s begin our rundown with one of the most common conveyor belt types. Using a solid system that’s great for general use across many industry sectors, this conveyor belt is robust, reliable and highly adaptable. Solid, general-use belts use conveyor materials like rubber, nylon, polyester, neoprene or nitrile to provide a solid surface that can transport even loose or bulky goods with ease.

Your choice of conveyor materials matters when selecting the solid, general-use belt that is right for you. Industrial applications within the milling or mining fields use rubber to ensure the durability needed to handle and move heavy materials. Supermarkets on the other hand rely on PVC conveyor belts to keep things moving. Airports also commonly operate general-use conveyor belts to handle luggage, preferring conveyor materials like neoprene, rubber or polyester.

the benefits

The versatility of general purpose conveyor belt types offers a long list of plus-points across countless industry sectors to ensure the conveyor belt can fulfil its primary duty with ease, efficiency and safety. Another benefit of utilising a solid, general-use conveyor belt is the fact that conveyor materials can be customised to make your system more suitable for its application.

Conveyor materials can be modified, incorporating different coatings, thicknesses and arrangements to improve the handling of specific goods. With this, you can make your conveyor belt appropriate for carrying food safely, fully operational in high temperatures, or better suited for bulk handling. 

filter belts

Conveyor belts aren’t just used to move goods along, they can provide filtration for various materials. Filter conveyor belts use a system that allows materials to pass through to improve operations, productivity and safety across selected operations. Filter belts are commonly used to separate excess liquid from materials and can even be incorporated to remove toxins and other waste materials.

Filter belts use conveyor materials that are capable of filtering, such as metal and synthetic fibres.

the benefits

Popular within water treatment facilities, the use of filter conveyor belts is primarily beneficial to health and safety. By getting a mechanical device to filter materials automatically, you can reduce manual movements, protect your workers, improve throughput, and cut labour costs even as operations grow.

woven metal belts

Primarily used to aid the drying, cooling or heating of belted materials as they’re being transported, woven metal belts use an interlocking design made of metal chains or wiring to allow air to flow easily during motion. This specialist conveyor belt construction is widely used in the food and drink, electronics and glass manufacturing sectors thanks to its conveyor materials and features.

The Benefits

Courtesy of its unique conveyor materials and construction, manual movements can be effectively reduced to give workers a less hands-on, safer role within your industrial setting. Woven metal conveyor belts are highly customisable with designs able to be tailored to suit an application’s exact specifications.


This conveyor belt’s use of metal also ensures high temperature and water resistance, protection against corrosion, good tensile strength, and a longer service life than many other conveyor materials.

hinged belts

Using metal as their base conveyor materials, hinged belts deliver the movement and flexibility that some operations need to succeed. Thanks to these conveyor belt types and their use of interlocking hinges, the flat, solid conveyor belt system we are all familiar with can be rotated with ease.

The Benefits

Must-have conveyor belt types for the small product, scrap and recycling industries, hinged conveyor belts unlock a user friendliness, ease and flexibility that improves product movement to multiple locations. They are also extremely robust, making them well suited to the regular transport and sorting of heavy and bulk materials.

plastic interlocking belts

Unlike metal or fabric belts, these interlocking conveyor belt types use plastic as the lead conveyor material to ensure a modular design that works for the food and beverage or automotive industries.

Most interlocking belts are moulded using thermoplastics and can be repeatedly assembled or disassembled module by module in a chain-type construction. The use of thermoplastics is relatively new in the conveyor belt industry, with their strength; acid, alkali and salt water resistance; suitability to a wide range of temperatures; anti-viscosity qualities; generous lifting angle; and easy cleaning and maintenance unlocking a number of benefits across selected sectors.

the Benefits

Thanks to their use of plastic conveyor materials and modular designs, plastic interlocking conveyor belts can be deconstructed simply and as frequently as is necessary. This makes them easy to clean, maintain or repair. The ease of cleanliness offered by plastic interlocking belts is particularly revered in the food and beverage industry where safety and compliance are top priorities.

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how do I know what conveyor belt to get for my business?

When choosing any conveyor belt, reliable operation, low power consumption and flexible feeding are just some of the perks every business can expect. Finding the right conveyor belt types for your outfit, however, will help you to create more value within your operations. Being aware of the different conveyor belt types available will of course help to inform your decision, but it is important to note that your conveyor belt choice will be influenced by a range of factors.

The availability of space within your facility, the specifications of the product you are looking to transport (including its weight, size, type, and decline/incline requirements), and the wider environmental conditions are all important considerations when selecting the right conveyor belt for you.

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why choose Joloda Conveyor Services?

Purchasing the right system from the many conveyor belt types available is just the beginning. To keep things moving, protect your investment, and harness all the benefits that go hand-in-hand with conveyor belt use, your conveyor belts will need maintenance, servicing and support. That’s where our conveyor services come in.

We provide a long list of services for all conveyor belt types, including breakdown repairs, pre-planned maintenance, and asset management. Here at Joloda Conveyor Services, our fully accredited packages give you access to a national network of more than 100 qualified mechanical and electrical engineers so you can get the conveyor belt help you need, whatever your location.

Our call centre is also open around the clock to ensure the speedy responses required to limit downtime when conveyor belt issues, failures and breakdowns strike.

To find out more about how our range of conveyor belt services can assist you, please contact our team today.

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