Innovative Goodyear Conveyor Belts Meet New Flame Resistance Standard, Dramatically Reduce Smoke

February 19, 2009

MARYSVILLE, Ohio, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ — Innovative Goodyear underground conveyor belts will meet the newly enacted Mine Safety and Health Administration’s higher belt flame resistance standard, while virtually eliminating some materials in them that can generate toxic smoke.

Goodyear Shield rubber conveyor belt compounds will be in compliance with MSHA’s recent 30 CFR Part 14 ruling and address other issues raised in it, according to Dave Tersigni, marketing manager-conveyor belts for Veyance Technologies. He said Shield will be unveiled at the February Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration annual meeting in Denver.

MSHA’s new standard, dubbed the Belt Evaluation Laboratory Test or B.E.L.T., requires a higher level of flame resistance and reduced ability to propagate or spread flames, compared to the standard it replaces.

The same ruling acknowledges that smoke density and toxicity generated by smoldering or burning materials and equipment found in mines can impact a worker’s ability to react to a fire, and states that MSHA will review the issue to determine future regulatory action.

Safety was the catalyst for developing Shield’s added benefits, said Tersigni. “It’s all about our long-term commitment to the mining industry and miner protection,” said Tersigni.

Tersigni said engineers at the company’s Marysville Global Technical Center worked with parallel development plans to meet the new flame-resistance standard and create rubber compounds that virtually eliminate the use of halogenated materials like chlorine and bromine that can generate thick, toxic smoke. At the same time, engineers were able to maintain the same abrasion resistance and other performance characteristics of conventional rubber compounds.

“Safety is paramount,” he said, “so our engineers successfully developed Shield to beat new B.E.L.T. standards and include low-smoke density and toxicity characteristics.”

Tersigni said the government’s new flame resistance standard is likely to create a premium cost for conveyor belts to underground mine operators. Shield will be priced competitively.

“We’ve invested $1.2 million in test devices to validate Shield’s performance, including sophisticated equipment to measure smoke density and toxicity,” he said, “and we’ve conducted year-long field performance trials at active mines in a wide range of harsh operating conditions.”

“Our advanced rubber compounding and reinforcement technology has created the optimum package of belt performance, flame-resistance and low-smoke characteristics.”

In comparison tests of smoldering belts, the smoke density of belts containing Shield compounds was 75 to 88 percent less than conventional rubber, PVC and neoprene belts. Similar tests of burning belts showed the smoke density of belts containing Shield compounds was 72 to 93 percent less than the other belt materials.

The new compound will be available for Veyance’s three tiers of fabric-reinforced underground belts, including Goodyear CoalQuest, Glide Plus and Contender. CoalQuest is the company’s premium belt with a patented Triple Warp Weave fabric that resists rips and tears from high impact damage.

The final rule currently requires underground coal mine operators to place in service conveyor belts that meet the B.E.L.T. standard starting Dec. 31, 2009, and replace all existing belts within 10 years.

In addition to conveyor belt products and installation, splice and repair services, Veyance is the exclusive manufacturer and marketer of Goodyear-branded industrial and automotive hose and power transmission belts, air springs and rubber track.

SOURCE Veyance

Source: newswire

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