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What is head pulley and tail pulley?

An idler conveyor belt pulley is a mechanical device, similar to a conveyor roller, used to change the direction of a conveyor belt or to drive or apply tension to a conveyor belt in a conveyor system. Worldwide, it plays a vital role in the performance and reliability of belt conveyor systems. It is due to this vital role that the selection of pulleys becomes a critical process in keeping the equipment running properly. If selection is made in haste, it can result in improperly sized and selected conveyor pulleys, leading to premature pulley damage downtime and costly downtime.


Conveyor pulleys are designed to be used in belt conveyor systems as drives, to redirect, to provide tension, or to help track the conveyor belt. Conveyor pulleys are used for different purposes than conveyor pulleys. Conveyor pulleys are designed to be used in the bed of a conveyor as a support for the product being conveyed, usually supporting the return side of the conveyor belt under the conveyor machine in the return section.

Commonly used pulleys are divided into the following categories: head pulleys, tail pulleys, redirected pulleys, drive pulleys, tensioning pulleys, etc. Today we would like to introduce you to the performance and role of the head pulley and tail pulley.


The Head pulley is located at the discharge point of the conveyor. It usually drives the conveyor and is usually larger in diameter than the other pulleys. For better traction, the head pulley usually has to lag (using rubber or ceramic lagging material). It can be either an idler or a drive pulley. A head pulley mounted on a moving arm is called an extended head pulley; a separately mounted head pulley is called a split head pulley. The top pulley or carrier belt, mounted at the very front or delivery point of the belt conveyor, passes over this pulley and begins to make its way to the tail or bottom section.


Tail pulley is located at the loaded material end of the belt. It has a flat surface or a slatted profile (wing wheel) which allows the material to fall between the supporting parts and by doing so cleans the belt. Its drive motor is mounted at the tail end and a cushion pulley has been added to increase the belt's wrapping angle. The diameter can be independently resized. Its tail wrap angle is defined by the circumferential distance between the belt and the pulley contact, from the point where the bolt makes contact with the pulley to the point where it leaves the pulley. The wrap angle can only be selected if the buffer has a choice of pulleys or drives. Therefore, if the angle needs to be greater than 180 degrees, a Snub Pulley is always required. a larger wrap angle provides more gripping area and increases the belt tension.


How to make a conveyor pulley?


The interference fit joint between the all-welded construction wheel hub and shaft


The interference fit joint between the cast-weld construction wheel hub and shaft


Expansion joint between the cast-weld construction wheel hub and shaft


The key joint between the all-welded construction wheel hub and shaft


Expansion joint between the all-welded construction wheel hub and shaft


Today we have mainly introduced you to these two main types of large pulley in large belt conveyors. For more information on other large pulleys, see the article What are the different types of pulleys in a belt conveyor? If you would like a free quote or a free sample of pulleys or pulley accessories, please contact the staff at GCS pulley Conveyor Manufacturing for further assistance.

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GCS reserves the right to change dimensions and critical data at any time without any notice. Customers must ensure that they receive certified drawings from GCS prior to finalizing design details.

Post time: Jul-01-2022