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Power Transmission Distributors Association is...

comprised of companies that distribute and manufacture the components that keep your world running smoothly.

Tech Tip: Belt Drives

Enhance your employees’ product and industry knowledge with PTDA’s Tech Tips. This library of online tips, hints and techniques may be used to educate new and current employees on power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) products, technologies and concepts and serve as reference and reminder for more experienced staff. Tech Tips are based on the expertise of PTDA member companies, content from Motion Control Made Simple  or PTDA’s Power Transmission Handbook®, the definitive resource and training tool on PT/MC products.

Visit the full library of Tech Tips for additional products.

Under which two construction categories are V-Belts generally found?

Envelope and Raw Edge are the two broad construction categories.  The envelope variety is fully enclosed with a rubber-impregnated fabric and resists exposure to oils, greases, dirt, water, and most chemicals.  The raw edge variety is essentially the same as the envelope construction without the envelope, although there is a fabric on the back of the belt to resist abrasion when running on a back-side idler sheave.  

Which type of v-belt is capable of covering a load range from fractional to 500 HP?  

Classical v-belts are capable of covering a load range from fractional (less than 1 HP) to 500 HP.  They are less efficient than narrow v-belt systems and generally contribute to higher overhung bearing loads.  However, classical v-belts have a high tolerance for poor operating conditions and unusual drive conditions such as reverse bending and twisted drives.    

Estimating a Belt

An easy-to-use and remember formula for calculating belt drive center distance is twice the drive’s center distance plus one half the sum of the pulley or sprocket diameters.  This will provide you with a belt length selection close enough to allow your drive take-up mechanism to absorb the difference.

Installing a Belt

When installing belts on multiple groove pulleys or sheaves, replace all belts at the same time--not just one at a time.  Using belts from the same manufacturer will assist your installation efforts and allow you to properly tension the drive for maximum efficiency. As you install the belts, do not pry or force the belt onto the sheave; do not roll the belt onto the sheave; but do make sure that there is sufficient clearance to allow you to comfortably slip the belt over the sheave or sprocket outer edge.

The information provided in Tech Tips is not meant to be all-encompassing, but rather to draw attention to and provide information about the particular subjects covered. All suggestions and recommendations contained in Tech Tips are based upon information that is believed to be accurate to the best of the experience and knowledge of PTDA’s contributing members, but are made without guarantee or representation as to results. PTDA and Tech Tip contributors expressly disclaim any warranties or guaranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of any information published in Tech Tips, and disclaims and makes no warranty that the information in Tech Tips will fulfill any of your particular purposes or needs. PTDA and Tech Tip contributors disclaim liability for any personal injury, property, or other damages of any nature whatsoever, whether special, indirect, consequential, or compensatory, directly or indirectly resulting from the publication, use of, application, or reliance on Tech Tips.