A frac sand producer in Texas was having issues with carryback around the discharge zones of 12 conveyors unloading into 120 ft (36.5 m) tall storage silos. Due to the naturally adherent characteristics of silica and the fine particle size, the sand was sticking to the surface and getting into cracks in the belt, dropping off along the return side. With only stairs to access the tops of the silos, each shift designated a worker with an air wand to spend their entire shift blowing sand off the top of the silos. This unpleasant job became standard practice, exposing workers to extreme weather and high places with limited access. To improve workplace safety and reduce the cost of operation, managers sought a solution to the issue.
The Mr. Blade technician performed a thorough inspection and installed a Martin QB1 Primary Cleaner and SQC2S SAF Secondary Cleaner. The QB1 features Martin's unique “CARP” (Constant Angle Radial Pressure) technology to maintain the most efficient cleaning angle throughout its service life, while the SQC2S has individually cushioned tungsten carbide blades for effective secondary cleaning, without risk to the belt or splices. Both units are now part of the monthly service through the Mr. Blade program, with Martin technicians taking responsibility for monitoring and servicing the cleaners as needed, relieving plant personnel from time-intensive inspection and maintenance.
Operators report that they no longer see build-up on return idlers and pulleys, and no accumulation underneath the conveyor structure. In fact, the improvement was so dramatic that they described the result as "100% better." While no belt cleaning can ever achieve true 100% removal of all carryback, these observations indicate how significant the benefit has been. Fugitive material no longer acts as an abrasive on moving components, plant personnel do not have to spend valuable time on cleanup, and drastically reduced spillage means more of the cargo can be processed and sold. Overall, the process is more efficient and profitable with the help of Mr. Blade.