Belts that Squeeze

By: Thomas Yoon

Belts have many uses in the running of equipment. The most
common belts are used to transmit power from a prime mover
(usually a motor) to another rotating machine.

Have you heard of belts used for removing water from sludge?

Yes, there is a type of equipment used in wastewater
treatment that uses belts to remove water from sludge.
It's called a belt press.

This is how it works:

There are two continuously running belts made of woven
polyester material in the belt press. There are many
freely rotating rollers where the belts pass over.

The belts are typically about 2 feet wide, depending on
the design. There is an upper belt, and a lower belt. The
arrangement of the belts and their travel on the rollers
is made in such a way that at some point along the route,
they will be placed tightly against one another.

The
pressing together of these belts squeezes out the water
from the sludge.

In order to work, the lower belt is passed through a tank
containing a mixture of sludge in water. As the belt
travels through the sludge-laden water, some of the
sludge gets stuck on the upper surface of the belt, and
is carried along with it.

The two belts are then stretched against each other along
their pathArticle Search, and the water is squeezed through the weave of
the polyester belt material. The semi-solid sludge still
sticking to the belts is then scrapped off when the belts
pass through plastic knife-edges held against them.

The semi-solid sludge that is scrapped off is collected at
a hopper and conveyor system where they can be collected
in bags or further dried.

Simple isn't it? Not really! The two belts must travel at
the same speed and there must be some way to ensure that
the belts do not drift away from their intended path....

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