IT is no surprise that when the belts are not up and running, convey of material stops. It may, therefore, be tempting to skip a few steps to shorten preparation prior to joining the conveyor belt.


Skiving is an important process in achieving an effective join when repairing conveyor belts.

One step that is sometimes overlooked is skiving. When a belt is skived, the conveyor belt’s top cover is removed to achieve a lower fastener profile at the splice.

In essence, the rubber cover is removed and replaced with belt fasteners that protect the belt and keep it moving to maximise productivity.

A skiver is specially designed to help ensure quick, safe and accurate cover removal at various depths. It eliminates imprecise and potentially dangerous cuts that can result from hand-knife skiving. It is also a cleaner and faster alternative to a router, since the skiver removes the top cover as one continuous strip, and does so in minutes. This makes skivers an invaluable tool for the belt-repair process.

Mechanical conveyor-belt splicing, which usually includes hinged- or solid-plate fasteners (clips) attached to the belt with bolts or rivets, is widely used in heavy-duty operations because of its relatively low cost and ease and speed of installation. However, abrasiveness and density can vary wildly, increasing the potential for premature splice wear and failure.

There are many reasons why it is important to skive a belt prior to fastener installation. In most cases, skiving will save time and money throughout the production process, and it does not weaken a conveyor belt. All of the strength is found in the carcass; the cover is in place simply to protect it. When someone skives a belt, he or she replaces this protective rubber with the belt fasteners that will protect the belt and keep it moving to maximise production. The user does not want to remove all of the cover - he or she should leave 1⁄16 inch in place to provide protection from the elements - water, sun, etc.

Why is it important to skive?

Achieving a lower profile: Since skiving a belt removes the belt’s top layer, it leaves room for the fasteners to lie evenly with or below the rest of the belt surface. This reduces the chance of the fasteners catching themselves on any belt components or on the conveyor structure itself.

Longer splice life: A properly skived belt will last much longer because you are achieving a lower profile, preventing excess wear and tear on the fasteners.

Compatibility with cleaners: When a belt is skived, cleaners and other conveyor components are able to work on a relatively smooth surface in which the belt fasteners and cleaners work effectively together. Not only does this create a compatible surface for cleaners, it also increases cleaner-blade and fastener life. Manufacturers that produce both fasteners and cleaners are often in the advantageous position to advise on the interfacing between fasteners and cleaners.

Better wear of fasteners when used with skirting: Similarly, a skived belt also reduces the wear and tear to which the skirting and fasteners are subjected, resulting in prolonged operation and reduced maintenance. By placing the top of the fasteners beneath the lower edge of the skirt rubber, the user eliminates excessive wear on either item.

Stronger splices: When a belt is skived, it removes the top rubber layer from the belt, placing the top and bottom plates of each fastener closer together, ensuring that the teeth are properly engaged into the carcass. This results in improved strength of the belt splice.

When not to skive

For all of these reasons, skiving is highly recommended when splicing a belt. However, there are some reasons why skiving might not be chosen, including:

Top cover is worn: When the top cover is very thin or worn, skiving is not recommended.

Fastener size: Belt thickness is but one of several factors used to determine fastener size. In cases where the wrong fastener size is used, skiving the belt would adversely affect the fasteners.

Time pressure: Sometimes in a time crunch, proper skiving of a belt is overlooked in an attempt to minimise downtime. Generally speaking, this is counter-productive. Although this does save time initially, in the long run it will result in additional downtime.

Skiving and splicing

The process of skiving is the right choice when splicing your belt. A skived belt reduces the wear and tear that the fasteners, cleaners, rollers and skirting are subjected to, and promotes prolonged operation and reduced maintenance.

With the easy-to-use, quick operation of today’s skiver, taking a few extra moments on the front end will save you time and headaches on the back end.

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