O-8. Prevention of premature failure of polypropylene mat top belts in tunnel pasteurizers

Presenter: Jack L. Bland, ChemTreat, Glen Allen, VA

Polypropylene has been the material of choice for mat top conveyor belts in tunnel pasteurizers in recent years; however, premature catastrophic failure has cost the industry more than $50 million in belt replacement costs alone over the past five years, not to mention lost production associated with downtime for belt replacement. These mat top conveyor belts, which are designed for 7–10 years of useful service life have experienced failure in as few as 3 years of in-service operation. This paper details the root cause analyses of a variety of premature belt failures and offers recommendations for maximizing the service life of polypropylene belts in tunnel pasteurizers in future operations.

Jack Bland has more than 35 years of experience in water treatment programs associated with more than 30 individual U.S. and Caribbean breweries. He has been an active MBAA member since 1980 and has published six MBAA technical papers and posters, two of which were granted the Outstanding Paper Award in packaging. Jack has also taught the Pasteurizer Treatment section for many years at the annual MBAA packaging course in Madison, WI. Jack retired from Chemtreat in 2012 and is a retained consultant to the company, focusing primarily on water treatment programs associated with the brewing industry. Jack is also current president of the Cooling Technology Institute, a global industry association headquartered in Houston, TX. Jack is proud to be a member of MBAA Districts Mid Atlantic and Caribbean.

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