Shape stability of pipe belt conveyors: From throughability to pipe-ability

Maria E. Zamiralova*, Gabri Lodewijks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a new approach to determine the bending stiffness of a pipe conveyor belt that is sufficient to form a stable pipe shape based on its throughability performance. The paper describes the mathematical model that determines pipe conveyor contact forces and introduces two numerical models solved using FEM in ANSYS. Results agree with the experimental data obtained using a six-point stiffness device. The mathematical model proposed can be used as a uniform validation technique for any numerical model. Appearance of one of the contact forces that equals zero is considered as a criterion for insufficient bending stiffness of belt to form a stable pipe shape. Effective modulus of elasticity quantified from the throughability parameter becomes a link to express belt pipe-ability. Impact of belt line mass and bending stiffness is investigated: for the same belt geometry, heavier belts require higher bending stiffness for the correct pipe shape formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-271
JournalFME Transactions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Bending stiffness
  • Contact forces
  • Experiment
  • Finite Element Method
  • Pipe conveyor
  • Pipe-ability
  • Test rig
  • Throughability test


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