Welding Urethane Belts

My team has been looking into using Urethane belts to convey the fribees. We have used poly cord which we know welds in generally the same way but it hasn’t been working. We would rather not by the $688 kit to weld the belts… any tips for welding them using wood burner/soldering iron?
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In 2009, we had a lot of success using a bunsen burner to heat up a steel plate (in this case, a leftover sprocket) and holding the ends on the plate until they melted before pressing them together.

https://picasaweb.google.com/117769834305511597729/2009Week6#5303177813940582290

We use a heat gun and melt the two ends of the belt. Once they are both melted enough, we put it between a vice and clamp it together, so the two melted ends of the belt come together.

Shame on McMaster.

Seriously, the process is just, heat the ends and then push together using a flat surface. How you choose to do the two processes is dependent on your resources.

  • Sunny G.

What I have also done in the past is to cut the ends on an angle to get more surface area for the connection then just a straight cut. It’s a little bit more difficult to weld together because you need to get the angles cut properly and then weld them neatly.

To add to what he said, were trying to weld flat belt specifically. 3/8ths wide.

Last year our team used urethane belting for our elevator to lift the balls to our shooter. Our process was to use a propane torch to get the cut ends wet/melted, we then would press the ends together in the vee of a piece of aluminum angle. This allowed a quick alignment of the wet ends and it allowed you to press them together without them slipping.

Good Luck!

last year we used a high power solder gun placed the cord in a wooden 2x4 mold then melted them with the high power solder gun while pushing into the tip then removed the tip while pushing the the ends together then put the top of the mold on then finished with a clamp on it then waited 3 minutes. it worked awesome.

We have successfully welded a 1" wide belt.

We lined up the two ends in a piece of C-channel (1" I.D.)
We got a 1" x 1/8" piece of aluminum bar stock and held it vertically between the two pieces.
We heated up the bar stock and pushed the two pieces against it.
When they started to melt we pulled out the bar and pushed the two pieces together.

It worked.

Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auJt_tmZpao&list=UUv_9jINXLDwAMUA3l80nVjw&index=4

Perhaps not the safest way, but i have had success with just a lighter to both ends of the connection to melt them and just pressing them together until they cooled. Be sure to wear gloves if you do this!

We use a heat gun and just fuse the ends together. Then, trim them clean with a pair of snips. Finally, sand the edge completely flat on a belt sander. Just don’t apply too much pressure on the sander. All that you lose is the shininess on that little part of the belt.

Avoid using an open flame with the urethane belt, since the fumes from burning urethane are nasty.

Instead use a heat gun - simple, clean and a heckuva lot safer.

Shield the area you don’t want to melt behind a piece of wood.

After welding, I like to reheat the area surrounding the join to strengthen the join and remove any air bubbles.

After that I like to use diagonal cutters and then sand the join down.

For small round belts, I have used a “Hot Knife For Her” from Michael’s arts and crafts store.

We used belts for picking up the balls last season and using them again this year. The easiest way we find it to use a heat gun (WEAR GLOVES!!) and heat up the two ends and press together. It usually works pretty well.

We have heated a strip of sheet metal (held with Vice Grips) with a propane or MAPP gas torch and pressed the ends of the belt onto each side of the sheet metal and then pulled the sheet metal away letting the ends touch and fuse together. Took several tries to get the heat timing right but worked well.

We use a hot air gun and a small jig made out of C channel (1" ID) and square tubing (1" OD). Put one end of the belt in the C channel (with a 1" wide belt, it should be a snug fit). Overlap the other end of the belt by about an inch. Use the heat gun and heat both pieces of belt. Once hot enough, press the joint with the piece of square tubing. Once you figure out the technique (heat setting, distance from workpiece, time) for softening the belts, you will get a perfect weld every time. You do NOT want the belts to start to bubble.