Cleated Tread

Has anyone used this cleated conveyor belting material from McMaster-Carr as tread on a Plaction-type wheel before? What was your experience?

(Follow up question - how much do we trust plaction wheels when jumping over the moat? We’re running out of 8" wheel options :slight_smile:

Out of curiosity, why do you want to use something like this instead of any of the “regular” plaction wheel treads? I don’t really see any benefit or advantage over a standard roughtop plaction wheel.

I seem to think “cleats” are against the rules. Check out R6.

I would be surprised if this belt material contravened R6. It’s just aggressively cut rubber, and unlikely to damage the carpet. No worse than versawheels for sure.

I would be shocked if no one in FRC has tried this stuff before.

:rolleyes: should have looked at the description before commenting.
If the “tread” were facing out then you’d be driving the smooth backing, which might slip.

I don’t think you would have an issue. I used conveyor belt on one of our previous robots (2006 I believe). the issue you might run into is stitching the conveyor belt together at the ends. In industry this is typically done with a crimp on ‘lace’ with a stainless wire used as the pin.

I would guarantee that this stuff was actually conveyor belt long before it was wheel traction material.

*The “cleats” on that material are only 1/8" tall and are made out of the same soft material as the rest of the belt.

Compare that to

Plaction wheels will not survive slamming into things like that. The thin lip they use to secure the tread side-to-side will fracture and break off. We have extensive experience with plaction wheels. In fact, just popping wheelies and coming down hard will cause the same failure mode. Versa’s version are more durable in that regard.

As a temporary fix to the lip coming off, you can rivet all along the thread in between each spoke. Eventually, however, the rim itself will fracture through at one of these points.

Thanks. That’s good, and disappointing feedback

Team 234 used a similar style of tread in 2004and 2006.

The stuff was almost literally bullet proof and quite heavy.

Biggest issues (with any belt drive) are keeping tension on the drive sprocket, belt tracking and alignment, and creating a “low point” around which the robot will turn.