Raise Your Guard: The Benefits Of Replacing Your Conventional Steel Conveyor Guards With Plastic Guards

Whether you use conveyor belts in a factory, the floor of a vehicle assembly line, the dark pits of a gold mine or to speed up your crop farming operations, both you and your employees will already be well aware of how dangerous these seemingly innocuous machines can be. With powerful motors and a a huge amount of moving parts, a conveyor belt can do severe damage to anything that gets caught in it, be it a piece of clothing or an extremely poorly positioned hand.

Consequently, shielding the most dangerous sections of your conveyor belt with dedicated conveyor guards is a must for both legal and ethical reasons, but many conveyor belts are fitted with bulky, custom-forged guards made from steel. While these guards provide an effective physical barrier, A wide variety of conveyor guard manufacturers offer guards made from tough thermoplastics, and there can be many benefits to replacing your steel conveyor guards with new models made from plastic: 


From time to time, sections of your conveyor guards have to removed to allow access for maintenance workers, or to remove blockages. Detaching and lifting a large, steel conveyor guard can be very laborious, to say nothing about replacing them once work is complete.and if large sections of guard need to be removed and replaced you may even be forced to bring in dedicated lifting equipment. By contrast, plastic convey guards are much lighter, and can generally be removed and replaced with manpower alone.


Despite being much lighter than steel, modern thermoplastics can rival them in terms of strength and durability, and they should just as long, if not longer, than steel guards before requiring repairs or replacements. They are particularly good at withstanding heavy impacts that would dent and deform steel guards, since they have a small degree of flexibility that allows them to absorb the impact.

Low maintenance

One of the most difficult aspects of using steel conveyor guards is keeping them in good condition; while they are extremely durable, they are vulnerable to rust, and must be re-coated in protective paint regularly to counteract wear and tear that exposes the vulnerable bare metal. Plastic conveyor guards have no problems with rust; this makes them particular suitable for conveyors handling high-moisture products (such as vegetables) or rough, abrasive materials that can damage the paint of steel guards (such as mining rubble).


Because plastic conveyor guards can be exposed to moisture without corrosion issues, they are also very easy to keep clean and sanitary. As such, they are ideal for use with conveyors that handle crops, fruits and vegetables, bottled drinks and other perishable items. Many guard manufacturers offer guards made from food-grade plastics specifically for these applications.