Plastic Belt Advantages

This section is intended for those who are considering the use of plastic belts on their spirals, either to replace metal belts on existing units or designing new spirals using plastic modular belts. In all cases, you should make sure the belts you are selecting are specifically designed for the applied use of your spiral.

With new materials and many new design features, solid application support and extended warranties, the use of plastic belts on your next spiral application should be of consideration.

Belt Speeds:      

Plastic belting has proven to be a better alternative when the application calls for higher belt speeds, as metal belts have generally been used only in application where these speeds do not exceed 200FPM.  Plastic belts can go over 300FPM in a given application.

Belt Widths:

Plastic belts have the advantage as they can go up to 72” in width. Metal belts are limited to 60”.  In all cases theses widths are application dependent.

Drive Ability:

Plastic belts have a greater drive surface contact area than metal, making them a better choice for lower tension systems.


Plastic belts have an expected cycle life greater than that of metal belts, so fatigue or work hardening at an expected life of 100,000 cycles is not an issue with plastic belts.  Plastic belts are expected to last > 1,000,000 cycles, with all other matters being equal.


With less friction on plastic belts, and a higher drive ratio on the belt to cage interface, plastic belts normally do not require lubrication in areas where metal belts have before.  This reduced friction gives plastic belts an advantage in this area and allows for better sanitation.


Reduce maintenance time by:

  • Eliminating steel belt “run-in/break-in”, lubrication and periodic “flipping”
  • Eliminating periodic wear strip and cage-bar cap replacement
  • Eliminating steel belt cutting, grinding and welding


Metal belts can generate filings or metal particulates due to connector rod and belt link interface, or due to hold down rail to belt interface, all in selected applications. Plastic belts do not have this issue.

Product Release:  

Boost product yields with non-stick, FDA/USDA approved, direct-contact plastic belt surfaces.

Radius Weight:    

Belt load per foot together with the weight of the belt, all times the system radius gives you a radius weight that affects belt tension and load capability. Plastic belts, being lighter in weight, allow for heavier loads to be moved through a spiral.

Repair Ability    

Since plastic belts are modular in design, maintenance and repairs made in the field are easier and quicker. No welding or grinding of metal in the product area is required.


Increase product throughput with greater loading capacity of lighter, stronger belts.


With more resources and R&D monies being spent on plastic materials and new design belt types including multiple collapse factors, lateral stiffness increases, plastic belts have been ahead of metal in this area.


The typical metal belt carries a 12 month warranty and does not include application warranties. Many plastic belt manufacturers offer multiple year warranties and cover application suitability warranties. Contact an IJ White Belt Specialist Today


In general, plastic belts have an advantage because they weigh less than metal belts, and carry a lower friction, which has a running tension effect on a belt. Assuming no strength loss, plastic belts can be a more suitable option.