Bulk material is conveyed over a slat conveyor, and the material is leveled with overhead rollers while being transported in the conveyor to maintain an even material height. Most of these "levelers" operate at a surface speed that is much faster than the speed of the conveyor. However, one particular overhead roll serves to compress the material slightly and feed a machine downstream, and it operates with a surface speed close to the conveyor speed.

This particular roller operates at a constant speed, but the conveyor does not. As such, there are times when the roller has a faster surface speed than the conveyor, but other times when the roller operates more slowly.

Is there a way to calculate the effect of these external devices on the force or energy required to operate the conveyor? I am particularly worried about this last roller, since it seems to cause the most resistance to motion. I have been unable to find even empirical information on the effect of these rollers in standard chain pull calculation guides.

  • $\begingroup$ drive that roller from the conveyor... then it will always match the linear speed... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 12, 2019 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


A very crude way of estimate the part of tension needed to compact the bulky material is get an average mass per second if material which is taller than the clearance between the roller and the conveyor belt and assume that part looses it's kinetic energy to inelastic collision with the roller and add that to other tension loads.

$E= 1/2 \dot {m}v^2= T_{belt}\cdot v$


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