The two most common types of thermoplastic conveyor belts are polyurethane (PU) belts and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) belts. All ScanBelt belts are naturally available in traditional materials: polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyacetal (POM). Constructed of interlocking plastic strips or parts, modular plastic belts are generally driven by toothed wheels attached to both ends of the conveyor. As a result, manufacturers of meat, dairy products, bakery products, confectionery and other food-related manufacturers may consider other factors when deciding between the two main classes of conveyor belts for food processing.
Modular plastic conveyor belts allowed the industry to transport in bulk, slowing down the movement of cans and reducing the chance of deterioration, while maintaining line performance. While the indentations created by joining modular parts together can create a slightly more difficult cleaning environment, modular plastic conveyor belts have a versatility that monolithic stakes cannot match. The modular plastic conveyor belt was invented about 25 years ago to solve transportation problems in the shrimp processing industry. Today's conveyor belts made of polyurethane and other thermoplastics can address most of the chemical, thermal and mechanical challenges faced by the food processing and packaging industries.
Within the most common conveyor belt category, the choice of materials includes steel, wire mesh, rubber, PVC, fabric and modular plastic. Another recent innovation in conveyor belt technology for the can industry is a low-friction flame retardant material. While food safety concerns remain paramount, the introduction and improvement of plastic polymers as materials for conveyor belts has made them easier to clean and more resistant to biological and chemical agents.