A COMPLETE GUIDE TO BROKEN SANDING BELTS AND WHY SANDING BELTS BREAK
Why would my sanding belt break?
It can be incredibly frustrating when you pay good money for sanding belts then they break at some point of the process of using them. With this guide you will be able to troubleshoot what exactly went wrong in the life of the belt that would case a breakage. Here are the top 5 reasons why your belt could break before sanding, during sanding and even after sanding:
1. One reason why your belt joint broke is because of an incorrect manufacturing process. This can happen for a myriad of reasons, such as that the manufacturer did not have the proper heat set when they pressed the belt together to congeal the tape, glue & backing together. Another reason could be that the belt, prior to being taped & glued was not "Scuffed" properly, meaning that a small amount of the joint was not sanded off to ensure a proper adhesion process. Rather than continue to bore you with how else this could have gone wrong in the manufacturing process, it is important to know that this is only a possible solution and frequently not the only reason a belts joint could pop!
2. A reason why your belt could have popped could be because of excessive loading of the material being sanded. While this is not the most common, we have occasionally seen that foreign particles in the machine or a wide variation in workpiece thickness can cause too much pressure and thus cause the belt to snap.
3. We frequently get asked "How long can you store sanding belts" or "How long do these sanding belts last?." While there is no exact answer a general rule of thumb is that belts can last for about 1-2 years where they are stored in a room temperature facility away from moisture, condensation, excessive cold or excessive heat. These can all be factors in the deterioration of the joint. Once a belt joint is compromised, the belt cannot be re-joined in the same place. The best use for the belt at this point would be to cut it up and use it for hand sanding.
4. The fourth reason for a belt breaking when being used is that perhaps you are not using the correct type of belt for your application. People often elect to go with a paper backed belt as opposed to a cloth backed belt because they prefer the the smoother finish. Paper belts are much more fragile than cloth backed belts and thus are prone to breakage. Going to a cloth backed sanding belt will prevent creases, tears and breakage in many situations.
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