Component Design

Component Design – Pulleys

CDI uses our proprietary PSTRESS software to do rapid design prototyping of high-tension pulleys.  This software uses a combination of analytic calculations and FEA to determine the principal von Mises stresses and fatigue stresses.  Because of the analytic elements in the software, this analysis is complete in a matter of seconds, allowing our design engineers to quickly modify the pulley design to eliminate stress risers and stress concentrations.  The final design is then put through rigorous a rigorous FEA study to validate the initial design calculations.

Goodman Diagram Pulley Analysis
Goodman Diagrams – Pulley Analysis


Pulley Finite Element Analysis
Pulley Finite Element Analysis


Component Design – Belts

CDI analyzes and designs steel-cord trough belts and pipe belts using the following tools and design criteria:

  • Splice analysis
  • Belt life analysis
  • FEA analysis
  • Rubber rheology – Laboratory testing of viscoelastic properties of 2 x 3 x 50 mm rubber samples at temperatures from -40°C to +150°C.
3-D Finite Element Splice Analysis Program RSA-III Rubber Rheology Test Machine
3-D Finite Element Splice Analysis Program RSA-III Rubber Rheology Test Machine


Component Design – Idler Frames, Ground Modules and Triangular Truss Gantries

CDI idler frame designs utilize pipe elements and rounded or tapered idler support brackets. This design minimizes damage to the belt that occurs when an idler is lost while the belt is running.

Idler Frame Component Design
Idler Frame Component Design


CDI uses RISA structural design software, and FEA analysis to design light-weight support frames and triangular truss gantries for conveyor applications.

Ground Module Component Design Triangular Truss Module Component Design
Ground Module Component Design Triangular Truss Component Design


CDI also designs maintenance trolleys for our elevated triangular truss gantries. These trolleys eliminate the need for walkways on the gantries, which reduces the structural load on the triangular gantry design. The end result is a gantry with a high strength-to-weight ratio.

Walkway-Free Trolley Dangote Overland, Nigeria, 2004
Walkway-Free Trolley Dangote Overland, Nigeria, 2004
Maintenance trolley designed without a walkway, which reduces costs. Project was for horizontally curved, 6.9 km overland conveyor with elevated truss and trolley.
See project details. See video from trolley.


Component Design – Transfer Chutes and Booster Drive Stations

No conveyor is complete without transfer chutes to add and remove material from the belt. CDI uses Granular Dynamics International’s (GDI’s) ROCKY software to do DEM analysis on our chute designs.  This software, coupled with a proven material calibration method, enables CDI to produce plug-free chute designs for a wide variety of materials, including wet sticky material such as clay fines combined with moisture.

Simulation of a transfer chute using non-round particles.


While most transfer chutes occur at the head or tail ends of the conveyor, on long-distance overland conveyors, it is sometimes necessary to put a drive pulley in the middle of the conveyor flight.  An in-line transfer of this type requires a special short fall, in-line chute design, as well as complex drive control algorithms to coordinate the booster drives torque and speed demands with the head and tail drives.  Below is an example of a recent CDI design for such a booster drive station.

Booster Drive Station Design
Booster Drive Station Design


CDI Chute Design Brochure PDF


Component Design was last modified: May 5th, 2016 by CDI