Wide sanding belts can provide manufacturers with greater reliability, variety, and robustness than traditional coated abrasives; however, if used improperly, wide sanding belts can quickly wear down and provide a less-than-perfect finish. From excessive dust production to flutter marks – these are some of the most common problems faced. In our latest blog, we discuss some best practices for using wide belt sander belts to help you minimize problems, reduce maintenance costs, and increase productivity.
- Chatter Marks
Chatter marks are usually the result of splicing on the wide belt sanding belts. To prevent this, manufacturers should do a few things:
*Make sure your contact roll has the correct rubber hardness (durometer) for your application. You may be using the wrong type of roller for your application – metal or durometer rollers should only be used for cutting.
*Check to make sure the pinch roller is properly adjusted for your application and surface thickness.
*Make sure to use the correct belt connector for your application.
- Too Much Dust
To ensure occupational safety, it is crucial for manufacturers to minimise dust generation. If you notice dust in your machine, you may want to check your dust extraction system to make sure it’s working properly. If you’re not sure, use an air flow meter and calculator to check the CFM (cubic feet per minute) of your dust collection system and make sure it’s operating to the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Burnt Belt
Overloading belts can cause them to burn; this means that manufacturers often find themselves looking for new belts, which can be avoided with the right production process. Here are some things to consider:
*Removal rate – you may want to remove too much at once. The grain size of the large sanding belts will determine how much material you can remove. Also consider the material you’re sanding — for example, if you’re sanding very soft woods, such as pine, you’ll usually have more loads because those woods have a higher resin content.
*Sanding Locations – Using just one area of the belt sanding paper can quickly cause the belt to wear out. Be sure to use the full width of the belt to ensure maximum use of the wide sanding belt.
Resin buildup – You may have built up glue or resin on the workpiece itself, causing extra residue to stick to the best wide belt sander due to the heat from the sanding action.
- Wavy Lines
If you notice wavy lines on your surface after sanding, it could be the result of a machine or sandpaper. To determine the cause, consider the following:
*Touch Roll – Make sure you are using the correct surface roll. Using a roller that is too soft or has the wrong material grain will often result in a wavy surface.
*Belts – If your belts are overloaded or have long intervals between changing belts, this can also explain why the finish is wavy.
*Grit Combination – Attempting to remove too much material at first, or skipping too much grit, can also result in an undesired finish on the surface.
- Belt Tracking Off Machine
This can lead to a range of problems if your belt is not tracking properly. Causes of belt misalignment may include: tension pressure, removal rate, and improper belt storage leading to damage.