The Client Challenge
Wear strips were needed for a sliding filter belt. In this particular application, a vacuum is applied from the underside of the assembly, through the filter belt and also through the slide wear strip, pulling the filtered material through the filter belt as it conveys down the wear strips. Multiple wear strips are joined to each other, end on end, to reach lengths of more than 100 feet. Diversified Plastics had been manufacturing the strips with no issues.
However, in 2009 the client changed production processes, increasing the vacuum on the underside of the assembly and filtering a finer material. The result was that material was getting pulled through and packed in the areas where the wear strip sections joined together. The result was a much shorter life for the filter belt and the wear strips.
The Diversified Plastics Solution
Diversified Plastics brought the client out to our Montana fabrication facility and reviewed photos of its new process. We quickly realized that the higher vacuum and finer material combined with expansion and contraction over the length of the wear strip was causing the problem.
We formulated a simple, low-cost solution to seal each joint. A tongue-and-groove seal allowed for the inevitable thermal expansion and contraction while keeping the joint airtight. We developed and tested the solution in an afternoon and provided preliminary drawings and prototypes to the customer the next day for final approval.