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Belt Drive 2015


The four principal types of belts are shown, with some of their characteristics, in
Table 17–1. Crowned pulleys are used for flat belts, and grooved pulleys, or sheaves,
for round and V belts. Timing belts require toothed wheels, or sprockets. In all cases,
the pulley axes must be separated by a certain minimum distance, depending upon the
belt type and size, to operate properly. Other characteristics of belts are:

• They may be used for long center distances.

• Except for timing belts, there is some slip and creep, and so the angular-velocity ratio
between the driving and driven shafts is neither constant nor exactly equal to the ratio of
the pulley diameters.

• In some cases an idler or tension pulley can be used to avoid adjustments in center
distance that are ordinarily necessitated by age or the installation of new belts.

Figure 17–1 illustrates the geometry of open and closed flat-belt drives. For a flat belt
with this drive the belt tension is such that the sag or droop is visible in Fig. 17–2a,
when the belt is running. Although the top is preferred for the loose side of the belt, for
other belt types either the top or the bottom may be used, because their installed
tension is usually greater.
Two types of reversing drives are shown in Fig. 17–2 Notice that both sides of the belt
contact the pulleys in Figs. 17–2b and 17–2c, and so these drives cannot be used with
V belts or timing belts.

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Belt Drive 2015

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Belt Drive 2015

Figure 17–3 shows a flat-belt drive with out-of-plane pulleys. The shafts need not be at
right angles as in this case. Note the top view of the drive in Fig. 17–3. The pulleys must
be positioned so that the belt leaves each pulley in the midplane of the other pulley
face. Other arrangements may require guide pulleys to achieve this condition.

Another advantage of flat belts is shown in Fig. 17–4, where clutching action is obtained
by shifting the belt from a loose to a tight or driven pulley.

Figure 17–5 shows two variable-speed drives. The drive in Fig. 17–5a is commonly
used only for flat belts. The drive of Fig. 17–5b can also be used for V belts and round
belts by using grooved sheaves.

Flat belts are made of urethane and also of rubber-impregnated fabric reinforced with
steel wire or nylon cords to take the tension load. One or both surfaces may have a
friction surface coating. Flat belts are quiet, they are efficient at high speeds, and they
can transmit large amounts of power over long center distances. Usually, flat belting is
purchased by the roll and cut and the ends are joined by using special kits furnished by
the manufacturer. Two or more flat belts running side by side, instead of a single wide
belt, are often used to form a conveying system.

A V belt is made of fabric and cord, usually cotton, rayon, or nylon, and impregnated
with rubber. In contrast with flat belts, V belts are used with similar sheaves and at
shorter center distances. V belts are slightly less efficient than flat belts, but a number of
them can be used on a single sheave, thus making a multiple drive. V belts are made
only in certain lengths and have no joints.

Timing belts are made of rubberized fabric and steel wire and have teeth that fit into
grooves cut on the periphery of the sprockets. The timing belt does not stretch or slip
and consequently transmits power at a constant angular-velocity ratio. The fact that the
belt is toothed provides several advantages over ordinary belting. One of these is that
no initial tension is necessary, so that fixed-center drives may be used. Another is the
elimination of the restriction on speeds; the teeth make it possible to run at nearly any
speed, slow or fast. Disadvantages are the first cost of the belt, the necessity of
grooving the sprockets, and the attendant dynamic fluctuations caused at the belt-tooth
meshing frequency.

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Belt Drive 2015

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