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Why Do My Sanding Belts Keep Breaking

Why Do My Sanding Belts Keep Breaking

Despite the friction and high-speed flexing associated with frequent and vigorous use, sanding belt seams seldom break. A high-quality abrasive should last long, whereas older belts are more prone to breaking from use and abuse. If not, you must look at the root cause of belt seam failures. This blog describes typical reasons for sanding belt failures as well as preventative measures you may take for each one.

Reasons Sanding Belts Keep Breaking

Inadequate Manufacturing Procedures

Belt joints may break if manufactured improperly. As the belts were squeezed together to cure the tape, glue, and backing, the manufacturer might not have used the proper heat setting. A small portion of the junction may not have been sufficiently sanded off to achieve good adhesion. This is if the belt was improperly scuffed before tape and glue.

Many belts made by the same manufacturer may be defective if they break while operating. You might use the manufacturer's return policy or warranty to get replacement belts instead of damaged ones.

Too Much Pressure When Using The Belt Sander

Belt folding, belt tearing, and joint failure may occur if you operate your belt sander with excessive or insufficient tension pressure. The optimal tension pressure for your belt will vary depending on whether it is backed by paper, fabric, or polyester. Below are some broad principles.

  • Paper backing: 45 to 55 psi.
  • Cloth backing: 55 to 65 psi.
  • Polyester backing: 65 to 85 psi.

The Belt Is Not Being Run Correctly

You should look at the belt's suggested orientation to prevent early belt joint breakage. Some tape-joined belts are only unidirectional, whereas the majority are bidirectional (they work in both directions). If your belt joint is unidirectional, you'll need to check that it's moving in the appropriate direction to prevent it from coming apart.

An Excessive Load

If your belt bursts, the material being sanded may have been overloaded. Occasionally, excessive pressure might cause the belt to break due to particles caught in the machine. This is due to a broad range in workpiece thickness. If so, take the necessary actions to reduce the load during sanding.

Error With Storage Temperature Control

If stored away from moisture, humidity, extreme cold, or extreme heat, properly maintained abrasive sanding belts can last one to two years. Any of these variables can cause joint degradation. Therefore, keep your belts in a climate-controlled space.

The Belt Is Over A Year Old

When buying belts, make sure you plan to wear them within eight to twelve months and store them according to instructions. Consider cutting them into smaller pieces for hand-sanding if you haven't already.

Wrong Belt For The Application

You may not use the right kind of belt for your application if your belt breaks while in use. Due to their smoother surface and lower price, paper-backed belts are preferred to cloth belts. However, they are more likely to break in some applications because of their increased fragility than cloth belts. Use a cotton belt instead if you're doing heavy stock removal or working with metal.

Belt Tracking Was Done Improperly

A belt will slide off the rollers or misalign while running if it is not tracking properly on the machine. If your tracking is off, your sanding belts will break and prematurely wear out. Go through each of these scenarios to see if you can identify the issue. Belt tracking issues can be caused by faults with the laser eye, tension pressure, belt cut, removal rate, inappropriate abrasive storage, or uneven rollers.

Defects In The Work

One of the simplest problems to solve is this one. Belts may break if the sanded workpiece has a nail, staple, or other flaw sticking out of the surface. Before sanding, you should check your workpieces to ensure they don't include any parts that could grab the belt and cause damage.

What Can You Do To Fix A Broken Sanding Belt?

The sanding belt you used has cracked. Is the harm irreparable, or should you try to fix it?

Even if a repair appears to be the best choice, it won't work. Determine what caused the belt to break, then chop it apart for hand-sanding projects. This is because there is no reliable or secure way to reproduce heat-activated adhesion.

How Can You Maintain The Longest-Possible Belt Life?

Start by keeping your belt sander well-maintained and in proper working order to extend its life. Secondly, check if your belts are operating at the proper tension and achieving the highest removal rate. Also, you should ensure that you utilize the optimum abrasive material for your application and always follow the correct grit sequence. All of these elements will increase the belt's lifespan.

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