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Hazardous dust and material spills at cement plant reduced by 98%

Home Infrastructure Environmental – Green Industries Hazardous dust and material spills at cement plant reduced by 98%

GERMAN company ScrapeTec-Trading has developed advanced solutions for conveyor systems of bulk materials, which include AirScrape, TailScrape and SpeedScrape products. BLT World specialists and ScrapeTec work closely with customers to solve problems of dust emissions, material spillage and conveyor belt damage that can lead to downtime, costly repairs and even fatal accidents.

In a recent project, a cement production plant urgently needed assistance with:

  • excessive dust emissions, posing major OH&S issues;
  • material spillage;
  • belt support and belt sag issues; and
  • v minimising production shutdowns.

A site inspection showed that a standard chute sealing system was used together with a basic clamping system positioned outside the chute. The existing skirting system and lack of inner skirting failed to contain excessive dust emission and material spillage at the transfer points.

Conveyer tunnel visibility

High dust levels caused poor visibility of the 70-metre-long conveyor tunnel, which affected the maintenance team’s ability to monitor efficiencies during the ship unloading process and to prevent bottlenecks in production.

An urgent solution to eliminate additional cleaning of the spillage piles was also necessary. Dust extraction trucks were a costly necessity to regularly clean the walkway and tunnel to prevent tripping and slipping.

ScrapeTec initially installed the contact-free AirScrape® conveyor belt skirting system in the ship’s unloading transfer chute in 2020 on a trial basis. The operator was satisfied with the outcomes achieved at this transfer point and welcomed the implementation of additional systems to further improve efficiencies at the plant.

 Transfer points

This involved adjustments before the AirScrape, TailScrape and the ceramic ST-Containment seal and ST-Sure belt support system were installed and fully operational within the chute area.

After the second phase installation, the operator recorded problem-free transfer points and  almost  98 percent reduction of dust emissions and material spillage. The onsite team reported no belt damage since the new equipment was installed and no maintenance or cleaning services have been necessary. Visibility of the tail end of the conveyor from the head chute has vastly improved.


The contact-free AirScrape conveyor belt skirting system is an effective side seal that lies over the conveyor belt, without contact and creates negative pressure on the belt due to its specially-designed lamella structure.

Because the system hovers freely above the conveyor belt, and skirt friction and belt damage are eliminated, and service life of every component of the conveyor is extended.

Conventional skirting is pressed against a conveyor belt to keep dust and material in the middle of the belt. But wear of the skirting and belt can be so severe that material and dust escapes. Material spillage at transfer points needs to be removed and regular maintenance of belt skirting and transfer points is necessary.

With the AirScrape dust-free and contact-free side-sealing system there is no skirt contact and therefore no belt wear or damage. Motor power requirements are reduced as there is no belt-skirt friction and because there is continuous skirting with no gaps, product loss is minimal.

This system is fitted using spacers, floating the blades just above the belt and is attached to the outside of the chute using existing skirt clamps or a simple bolt and nut system. It is longitudinally adjustable to follow the contours of conveyor belt rollers and the belt trough angle.

The ST-Sure belt support system

The ST-Sure belt support system avoids the problems of belt sag between the impact rollers. A smooth straight and flat belt surface keeps the AirScrape lamellas continuously in the correct position, with no physical belt contact.

TailScrape – the transfer tail skirting system

The TailScrape system works according to the Venturi concept to prevent dust generation and material spills. The intelligent blade structure on the underside of the system ensures that negative pressure is created in the conveying area, preventing the escape of materials. Dust is kept in the material flow by air intake.

TailScrape is mounted precisely to the existing AirScrape system, so that it seals the transfer to the bend, averting dust generation and material spillage, also reducing the risk of explosion. The system operates without contact to the conveyor belt, which means there is no belt or skirting wear and because the load on the drive system is reduced, no belt friction.

Designed and manufactured in Germany by ScrapeTec Trading, the AirScrape system is available from BLT World throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands..

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