Ahead of International Mining’s annual examination of latest conveyor technologies, a new development from ContiTech minimises rolling resistances and reduces energy consumption by 20%. It features a specially developed rubber compound. This makes it possible to significantly decrease conveyor energy costs and CO2 emissions. Rolling resistance accounts for more than two-thirds, and thus the biggest share, of a conveyor system’s total kinetic resistance. ContiTech is focused on reducing rolling resistances, because these have a major impact on the energy consumption of long, horizontal conveyor belt systems. The cause is the visco-elastic material characteristics of the rubber conveyor belts. The rolling resistance is created, in part, by the movement over the idlers. In the contact surface between the conveyor belt and each individual idler, a force arises acting in the opposite direction to the movement of the conveyor belt, resulting in additional energy consumption. In addition to a series of further factors, the rolling resistance depends on the technological properties of the conveyor belt and, more specifically, the material from which it is made.Using complex simulations, ContiTech scientists adjusted the deformation of conveyor belts over idlers and derived hypotheses from this on how to provide the ideal rubber compound. On this basis, different compounds were mixed, tested and optimised, and the most promising compounds were turned into conveyor belts in order to try them out and find the ideal solution. It worked; the latest measurements, taken with special measuring devices on a test rig at the University of Hanover’s Institute for Transport and Automation Technology, showed significant reduction in rolling resistance with the newest energy-optimised conveyor belts from ContiTech.A 5 km long conveyor belt system in an open-pit mine, for example, could save more than 3,000 kW of power. In an hour and a half, as much energy would be saved as the average four-person household in Germany consumes in a year. ContiClean® A-H, the anti-stick conveyor belt could become more versatile in future thanks to a new production method.At Bauma 2010, ContiTech displayed a more troughable version of the belt, the surface of which is specially designed to handle ultrasticky material like desulphurised gypsum, unfired clay, titanium dioxide or wet ash. The new belt can be troughed to a greater extent, particularly at cold temperatures, thus increasing its conveying capacity. Even narrower belt widths feature better troughing and running performance. These new benefits are attributable to an optimised rubber compound used in the production of the belt. The compound means that it is now possible to operate the belt at temperatures as low as –25°C. Thanks to its special surface properties, ContiClean A-H does not become soiled even when handling ultra-sticky materials like clay and gypsum. Any caked-on material is gently removed beyond the materials discharge point by a scraper tailored exactly to the product. This means that conventional hard-metal scrapers are no longer an absolute necessity. The belt suffers less wear and tear, and its service life is increased enormously. The belt surface is resistant to ageing and weathering, it is antistatic as well as oil and grease resistant, as required.