Conveyor belts are essential pieces of equipment for a wide variety of industries, from food manufacture to gold mining, but their commonality doesn't make them any less dangerous if they are used improperly. The moving components and powerful motors of even a small, portable conveyor belt can be extremely dangerous if workers get too close to them, so conveyor guarding products are essential pieces of equipment if you want to keep your conveyor belt operations safe (not to mention legal).
Many conveyor guards are made from sheet metal and serve well enough, but more and more conveyor-operating industries and businesses are choosing to use conveyor guards made from light, durable plastics instead. These thoroughly modern guards have a number of advantages over their more traditional metal counterparts:
The light weight of most plastic conveyor belt guards is one of their main selling points. It means they can be lifted away and removed from the conveyor belt (while it is not operational, of course) with relative ease, allowing maintenance technicians to easily access malfunctioning components and blockages which would otherwise be obstructed by the guards. If you operate portable conveyor belts, choosing plastic guards will also lower the overall weight of your conveyors, making them much easier and cheaper to transport.
Unless your conventional metal conveyor guards are made from expensive stainless steel or aluminium, they will be vulnerable to damaging rust, which can significantly undermine their durability and the protection they provide. Plastic conveyor guards are considerably cheaper than guards made from these specialised metals, but are just as immune to corrosion. This makes them particularly valuable for conveyor belts that deal with products with high moisture contents, such as the agricultural conveyors used on livestock and vegetable farms.
Conveyor belt guards are almost always brightly coloured, usually in shades of yellow, to increase their visibility and immediately warn workers that they are approaching dangerous sections of the conveyor. Metal guards are often covered in paint or powder coatings to achieve this colouration, but these coatings are not invulnerable and can be worn down over time, reducing their visibility.
By contrast, plastic conveyor guards are coloured during manufacture, and will maintain their vivid colouration even if worn down to a mere fraction of their original thickness. This is particularly useful for conveyor belts located in dark working areas with limited visibility, such as mine shafts.
Despite being lighter and easier to maneuver than metal guards, plastic conveyor guards are still immensely strong and durable and will hold up against the heaviest impacts without breaking and exposing dangerous moving components. Their rustproof nature also means that they generally last longer than metal guards before having to be replaced, saving you time and money on replacements.