The high rotating cylinder cars and water roll in Chinese ancient, were the prototype of the modern bucket type lifting machine and scraper conveyor. In seventeenth century, the world began to use cableway for conveying bulk material. In the middle of the nineteenth century, various kinds of modern structure conveyors appeared. In 1868, it was appeared the belt conveyor in the United Kingdom. In 1887, it was appeared screw conveyor in America. In 1905, the steel belt conveyor appeared in Switzerland. In 1906, inertial conveyor appeared in the UK and Germany.
The earliest belt conveyor used a thin leather and fabric, then sewn into the endless conveyor belt, and around the two ends of the roller. Around the end of the eighteenth Century, the first belt conveyor came out. The support of the engine was a disc groove, and the tape slide in the groove. The coefficient of friction between the tape made of cotton fabric and a trough is 0.3~0.4, so the tape was badly worn, and great loss.
At the beginning of nineteenth Century, the belt conveyor used a roller as a belt support, and the friction coefficient decreased significantly (about 002~0.06). Belt conveyor was widely used. Belt conveyor of modern referring mainly refers to a roller support, also is the common sense of the belt conveyor. The ordinary belt conveyor belt conveyor is a rubber belt. The conveyor belt rounds at both ends of transmission drum and turnabout drum.
In the late of 1950s, the belt conveyor with long distance, large capacity and high speed, mainly used steel core belt conveyor and the wire rope traction belt conveyor. The working principle of steel core belt conveyor and ordinary belt conveyor were the same. The different was that conveyer belt with steel wire rope instead of fabric liner core make, so there is a high strength. The conveyor could realize long distance transportation. The transportation system was simple, and the production efficiency was increased, so it had been widely used.
In the 1970s, the foreign developed long distance belt conveyor with middle multi drive form. After that, scientists in Holland suggested the air cushioned belt transportation theory through a series of laboratory and field research. In 1984, the Hungarian Mining Research Institute had developed a new type of belt conveyor with water pad instead of roller. In 1980s, Russia's Kuzbass Institute produced the magnetic cushion belt conveyor. Its structure was similar to the ordinary belt conveyor. Throughout the history of development of belt conveyor, we can discover that it is actually the development history of supporting belt conveyor. It can be divided into three periods: sliding bearing, roller bearing, non-contact support.