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What is the Difference Between a Roller Conveyor and a Belt Conveyor?

What is the Difference Between a Roller Conveyor and a Belt Conveyor?


Conveyor systems are widely utilized in industrial settings, with roller conveyor and belt conveyor being two of the most popular options. There are considerable distinctions between the two conveyors, even though they both serve the identical objective of moving things from one location to another. A belt conveyor consists of a continuous, flat belt made of rubber, plastic, or other materials that move over a series of rollers or pulleys. On the other hand, roller conveyors are made of plastic mounted on axles.

In this article, we'll compare and contrast roller conveyors with belt conveyors from the perspectives of their design, capabilities, and applicability.




YiFan belt conveyorsYiFan roller conveyors

1. Differences in Appearance

Choosing between a belt conveyor and a live roller conveyor may dramatically affect material handling operations. These two conveyors look different and are built for other jobs. Making the correct material handling option requires understanding their distinctions.

1.1 Roller Conveyors

Solid, tube-shaped rollers distinguish live roller conveyors. These rollers immediately contact and convey motion to the moved items, making them the system's workhorses. They can be made of steel or composite tubing, depending on the use. Some roller systems are gravity-powered, differing from belt conveyors.

1.2 Belt Conveyors

In contrast, a belt conveyor has a flat steel or composite belt. This belt stabilizes goods during transit. A motor-driven pulley or cylindrical tube powers it. The belt conveyor can handle several products due to its larger resting surface.

2. Differences in Subtypes

Roller and belt conveyors are useful material handling devices, but their subtypes are designed for certain operations. Let's compare these subtypes and discuss their benefits for different applications.

2.1 Roller Conveyor Subtypes

Roller conveyors may be tailored to meet varied needs and are versatile. Key roller conveyor subtypes:

● Belt-Driven Roller Conveyors

Belt-driven conveyors move rollers smoothly and controllably. They are helpful for accurate handling and product orientation.

 Belt-Driven Roller Conveyors

● Roll-to-Roll-Driven Roller Conveyors

In this subtype, rollers drive each other, making it ideal for low-friction product delivery. They're common in gravity-based systems.

Roll-to-Roll-Driven Roller Conveyors 

● Chain-Driven Roller Conveyors

Material transfer is dependable using chain-driven conveyors. Heavy-duty applications and demanding material-handling industries use them.

Chain-Driven Roller Conveyors

2.2 Belt Conveyors Subtypes

A belt conveyor has several variants for different material handling purposes. The primary belt conveyor subtypes are:

● Trough Belts

Angled conveyor systems are appropriate for bulk commodities. They reduce leakage and speed up product transportation, making them popular in mining and agriculture.

Trough Belts


● Flat Sidewall Belts

For applications requiring level conveyance, flat sidewall belts are ideal. Their usage is common in manufacturing and assembly.

Flat Sidewall Belts

3. Differences in Capability

Material handling decisions need knowledge of roller conveyor and belt conveyor capability and characteristics as they differ.

3.1 The Capability of Live Roller Conveyor

Live roller conveyors use steel or composite rollers to contact and move the delivered product or material directly. Motor power, not gravity or human action, makes them "live rollers." Belt-driven or chain-driven live roller conveyors exist.

These conveyors typically transfer oversized items like cartons, crates, and pallets. Live roller conveyors are ideal for sturdy, regulated material transportation.

3.2 The Capability of Powered Belt Conveyor

Material handling belt conveyors use a steel or composite belt on rollers or a smooth slider bed. A motor-driven cylinder under the belt or at the conveyor end powers the mechanism. The belt directly contacts the product or materials, giving fine movement control.

This conveyor system handles materials well on inclines, bends, and drops because of its excellent control. Belt conveyors transfer fragile, oddly shaped, and tiny and medium-sized boxes. They are also used for moving things of various sizes up or down inclines, making them adaptable solutions for many applications.

4. Differences in Usage

Industrial conveyors are essential, but choosing the proper one depends on your needs. Live roller conveyors and belt conveyors thrive in different applications. Knowing which to utilize when can improve your material handling operation.

4.1 When to use a live roller conveyor?

The live roller conveyor is ideal for continuous product flow and non-critical placement and control. However, material weight and volume affect transfer speed. Live roller conveyor systems are used for long-distance transport, return lines, pallet transport, bulk goods receiving, load transfer and accumulation, and product delivery to and from automated manufacturing or sorting stations.

4.2 When to use a belt conveyor?

A Belt conveyor system excels at precision control and placement. Belt conveyors are ideal for high-speed conveyance, assembly, automated manufacturing, scanning, inspection, sorting, and incline/decline transportation.

5. Differences in Transportation

Materials are moved easily using conveyor systems, the backbone of contemporary material handling. A frame spans between points, supporting a mechanism that drives and sustains the weight. A critical difference between roller and belt conveyor is powered vs unpowered conveying.

5.1 Transporting With Roller Conveyors

A roller conveyor moves materials using parallel rollers on the frame. Its ability to work without electricity makes it ideal for gravity-assisted applications. Rollers spin effortlessly due to low-friction bearings, requiring little effort to carry materials long distances. With the rollers as gentle guides, this function is beneficial when gravity helps.

5.2 Transporting With Belt Conveyor

A belt conveyor transports things via a continuous belt. Rollers or sliders support the belt between two end pulleys at each conveyor system terminal, forming an unending loop. Belt conveyors are versatile and can handle more loads, but they need motor power. This motorized component raises operational and maintenance expenses.

6. Conclusion

Knowing roller and belt conveyor differences is vital for material handling in numerous applications. Roller conveyors are great for gravity-assisted operations because of their simplicity, unpowered operation, and low friction. However, belt conveyors can move various materials and load sizes, especially on sloping surfaces, thanks to the powered drive.

The belt conveyor type depends on your demands and operating environment, as roller and belt conveyors have different benefits. The choice between the two types of conveyors should be made with care, taking into account the unique requirements of your business.

No matter what you choose, YiFan Conveyor can make the best conveyor for your needs. Contact us today for high-quality conveyors and expert service! 

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