To Skive or Not to Skive
Factors to consider before splicing your belt.
by Chip Winiarski
Belt skivers remove a conveyor belt’s cover to prepare a belt for countersunk fasteners. A skiver is specially designed to help ensure quick, safe, and accurate cover removal at various depths. It eliminates imprecise and potentially dangerous cuts that can result from hand-knife skiving. It is also a cleaner and faster alternative to a router, since the skiver removes the top cover as one continuous strip, and does so in only a few minutes. This makes skivers an invaluable tool for belt repair process.
Mechanical conveyor-belt splicing, usually involving hinged- or solid-plate fasteners (clips) attached to the belt with bolts or rivets, is widely used in heavy-duty operations because of its relatively low cost, as well as ease and speed of installation. However, abrasiveness and density can vary widely, increasing the potential for premature splice wear and failure.
There are many reasons why it is important to skive a belt. In most cases, skiving will save both time and money throughout the production process, and it does not weaken a conveyor belt. All of the strength is found in the carcass, and the cover is in place to simply protect it.
When you skive a belt, you replace this protective rubber with the belt fasteners that will protect the belt and keep it moving to maximize production. You do not want to remove all of the cover, but rather leave 1/16 of an inch in place to provide protection from elements such as water and sun.
Benefits from skiving a belt include the following:
- Achieving a lower profile.
Since skiving a belt removes the top layer from the belt, it leaves room for the fasteners to lie evenly with or below the rest of the belt surface. This is a benefit for any operation because it reduces the chance of the fasteners catching themselves on any belt components or the conveyor structure itself.
- Extending splice life.
A properly skived belt will last much longer because it creates a lower profile, preventing excess wear and tear on the fasteners.
- Ensuring compatibility with belt cleaners.
When a belt is skived, belt cleaners and other conveyor components are able to work on a relatively smooth surface in which the belt fasteners and belt cleaners work effectively together. Not only does this create a compatible surface for cleaners, it also increases cleaner blade and fastener life. Manufacturers who produce both fasteners and cleaners can provide advice on the interface between fasteners and cleaners.