High Performance V-Belts look like relatively benign and simple pieces of equipment. They're basically a glorified rubber band, right? Need a replacement? Just measure the top width and circumference, find another belt with the same dimensions, and slap it on the drive. There's only one problem: that approach is about as wrong as you can get.
Like their synchronous belt cousins, High Performance V-Belts have undergone tremendous technological development since their invention by John Gates in 1917. New synthetic rubber compounds, cover materials, construction methods, tensile cord advancements, and cross-section profiles have led to an often confusing array of High Performance V-Belts that are highly application specific and deliver vastly different levels of performance.
In this article we'll review some High Performance V-Belt basics to help you make better sense of which belt to use in a given application to make your belt drives last longer, run more efficiently, and save you downtime and money.
Size Isn't Everything
However, notice the differences in cord materials, body compounds, cover configurations, temperature ranges and application requirements. Despite their outward similarities, each of these belts is designed for a distinct purpose. Using the wrong belt could cause equipment damage or pose serious safety issues. What is the right belt for the job? It depends on the application. Following are some environmental and application design criteria that will influence belt selection:
Pulsation or shock loading
Small sheave diameters
Serpentine or quarter turn layout
Dust and abrasives
As you can see, there are many factors to consider before choosing the right High Performance V-Belt for the job.
Generally speaking, High Performance V-Belts fall into these classifications:
Heavy loads and often harsh conditions
Fractional horsepower applications
How High Performance V-Belts Work