‘White gold’ is what farmers in many places call the valuable commodity which almost everyone wears each day – cotton. This clothing material is of huge economic significance. The major cotton-growing regions include China, India, Pakistan and the USA. For the 2018/19 harvest year, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expecting a worldwide cotton harvest of around 120.4 million bales.
And bales is precisely where our conveyor belts come into play. In the USA our baler belts in harvesters ensure that the very light cotton fibers gathered by the spindles are compressed into bales in the machine’s basket.
We developed a baler belt program especially for cotton harvesters which improves the operating safety of the machinery. This is based on an optimized material blend. It means our belts are robust and durable. “For the belts we use compounds that were actually developed for our underground portfolio,” says Kelley Burianek, Product Manager for Agricultural Applications at Continental.
Further benefits of the new belts: “Thanks to the improved material blend, our belts have significantly better tear resistance than conventional products. The material has low-elongation properties, and this makes the belt run straighter,” says Burianek. Fibers with extremely low elongation properties are used in the belt’s fabric. This is a first for conveyor belt applications.
||Kelley Burianek also helped to implement the new baler belt program as a Product Manager for Agricultural Applications.
“Our customers demand that our belts can compress at least 2,500 bales per harvest year. They can easily do that. We are confident they can compress around 10,000 bales over their entire lifespan which means they can be deployed for four years or even longer.”
Heavy weights of up to two tons
Cotton harvesters are up to twelve meters in length and five meters high. These dimensions are no surprise: a single cotton bale, which the harvesters compress thousands of times with the help of our baler belts and prepare for further processing in factories, weighs more than two tons. “Our customers demand that our belts can compress at least 2,500 bales per harvest year. They can easily do that," says Burianek. “We are confident they can compress around 10,000 bales over their entire lifespan which means they can be deployed for four years or even longer.” They provide farmers with reliable support in their everyday work.