To Skive or Not to Skive
- Improving wear of fasteners when used with skirting.
A skived belt reduces the wear and tear that the skirting and fasteners are subjected to, resulting in prolonged operation and reduced maintenance. By placing the top of the fasteners beneath the lower edge of the skirt rubber, excessive wear on both items is eliminated.
- Creating stronger splices.
When a belt is skived, it removes the top rubber layer from the belt, placing the top and bottom plates of each fastener closer together, ensuring that the teeth are properly engaged into the carcass. This results in improved strength of the belt splice.
For all of these reasons, skiving is highly recommended when splicing a belt. However, there are some reasons why skiving might not be chosen, including the following:
- The top cover is worn.
When the top cover is very thin or worn, skiving would not be recommended.
- The wrong fastener size is being used.
Belt thickness is but one of several factors used to determine fastener size. If an operator is using the wrong size fastener, skiving the belt would adversely affect the fasteners.
- Time pressure prevents proper skiving.
Sometimes in a time crunch, proper skiving of a belt is overlooked in an attempt to minimize downtime. Generally speaking, this is counter-productive. Although this initially does save time, it will eventually result in additional down time.
Choosing the right tool
Traditional skiving tools typically employ a wide cutting head drawn across the belt by a manual winch and guided by a lightweight aluminum track. A stirrup-shaped blade, mounted in the cutting head, adjusts in 2-mm (1/16-inch) increments to a maximum depth of 14 mm (1/2 inch). Adjustment allows the blade to remove the desired amount of belt top cover cleanly, smoothly, and uniformly in one pass. This leaves a flat-bottomed trough with rounded lower corners to prevent the adjacent belt cover material from tearing along the bottom edge.
With some skivers, the cutting head also features a cut-off blade that adjusts vertically for belts up to 35 mm (1-3/8 inch) thick. A second pass of the head with this blade extended makes a clean, square, and straight cut along the bottom of the skived area, establishing a finished belt end by trimming the trough for the selected fastener size.