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What Is a Belt Dryer?

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  • Written By: Lakshmi Sandhana
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 28 September 2016
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A belt dryer is piece of machinery that is used for continuous drying within manufacturing industries. Designed to thermally treat a product, it allows raw materials to be dried in a controlled manner. It is widely utilized in the plastics, wood, and chemical industries. Pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, and construction materials are some other areas that use this heavy machinery.

The device uses air or gas to dry and cool pastes, panels, and pellets. It is constructed in a modular way, which allows many different configurations. Some of the types of dryers that can be constructed are multilevel dryers, multistage dryers, and multibelt dryers. Single-belt dryers can also be found. The modular construction allows it to be easily integrated with other high-temperature drying processes.

A typical belt dryer consists of an input end called the infeed head, a mode of transport which is mostly a conveyor belt and a discharge end. The wet product to be dried enters the dryer through the infeed head and begins its journey on a perforated belt. The infeed head can be different for various types of wet products. For instance, a slewing belt conveyor is used for sensitive products, while a granulating mill is used to feed in products like filter cake. Distribution spirals, plate-feeding devices, swing belts, and rotatable arm devices are some other input mechanisms.

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The product is carried by the conveyor belt into the drying area, where heated, dry air flows over it. The air or gas absorbs water from the material, drying it as a result. The moist, drying air is ejected with the help of fans, and the dried material leaves the dryer at the belt end.

The drying area may be divided in several sections, each equipped with its own heat exchanger and ventilation fan. This makes it possible for different drying and cooling temperatures to be maintained in different sections of the belt dryer. Both the air flow in each section and the speed of the conveyor belt can be varied, allowing different settings for drying time. It's also possible to circulate the drying air over or through the product depending upon the material. The air is circulated from top to bottom or vice versa in such a way that the material dries evenly.

In addition to hot air, steam, hot water, and oil can be used as the heating media in a belt dryer. In addition to solid products, materials in the form of granules or strips can also be dried. Some advanced models of belt dryers also come with control panels with touch screen models. This allows different drying parameters to be stored as "recipes," making the belt dryer very easy to operate.

Used to dry materials like paints, cereals, molding materials, and biomass, belt dryers can also easily dry wooden products, granule feed, and vegetables. Super absorbent polymers, propylene fibers, and plastic products are some other materials that can be dried with a belt dryer. The tool can also dry materials like fruits, synthetic rubber, or medical material.

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