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One of various devices that provide mechanized movement of material, as in a factory. Conveyor belts are used in industrial applications and also on large farms, in warehousing and freight-handling, and in movement of raw materials. Belt conveyors of fabric, rubber, plastic, leather, or metal are driven by a power-operated roll mounted underneath or at one end of the conveyor. The belt forms a continuous loop and is supported either on rollers (for heavy loads) or on a metal slider pan (if loads are light enough to prevent frictional drag on the belt). Motors operating through constant- or variable-speed reduction gears usually provide the power.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on conveyor belt, visit Britannica.com.