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BELTS AND BELT DRIVES

A belt is a loop of flexible material used to link two or more rotating shafts mechanically,
most often parallel. Belts may be used as a source of motion, to transmit power efficiently
or to track relative movement. Belts are looped over pulleys and may have a twist between
the pulleys, and the shafts need not be parallel.

Power transmission belting has been used for more than 200 years. The first belts were
flat and ran on flat pulleys. Later, cotton or hemp rope was used with V-groove pulleys to
reduce belt tension. This led to the development of the vulcanized rubber V-belt in 1917.
The need to eliminate speed variations led to the development of synchronous or toothed
belts about 1950 and the later development of fabric-reinforced elastomer materials.

BELT TYPES

All power transmission belts are either friction drive or positive drive. Friction drive belts
rely on the friction between the belt and pulley to transmit power. They require tension to
maintain the right amount of friction. Flat belts are the purest form of friction drive while
V-belts have a friction multiplying effect because of wedging action on the pulley.

Positive drive or synchronous belts rely on the engagement of teeth on the belt with
grooves on the pulley. There is no slip with this belt except for ratcheting or tooth jumping.

A. FLAT BELTS

Modern flat belts are made with reinforced,


rubberized fabric that provides strength and high
friction levels with the pulley (Fig. 1). This
eliminates the need for high tension, lowering shaft
and bearing loads. Flat belts can transmit up to 150
hp/in. at speeds exceeding 20,000 fpm.

Figure 1

A significant advantage of flat belts is efficiency of nearly 99%, about 2.5-3% better than
V-belts. Good efficiency is due to lower bending losses from a thin cross-section, low
creep because of friction covers and high modulus of elasticity traction layers, and no
wedging action into pulleys.

Pulley alignment is important to flat belts. Belt tracking is improved by crowning at least
one pulley, usually the larger one. Flat belts are forgiving of misalignment; however,
proper alignment improves belt life.

Different flat belt surface patterns serve various transmission requirements. In high-
horsepower applications and outdoor installations, longitudinal grooves

CE314 – ENGINEERING UTILITIES 2 (BASIC MECHANICAL ENGINEERING)


Engr. Dennis E. Ganas
Mechanical Engineering Department
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
2

in the belt surface reduce the air cushion flat belts generate. The air cushion reduces
friction between the pulley and belt. The grooves nearly eliminate the effects of dirt, dust,
oil, and grease and help reduce the noise level.

Flat belts operate most efficiently on drives with speeds above 3000 fpm. Continuous,
smooth-running applications are preferred. Speed ratios usually should not exceed 6:1.
At higher ratios, longer center distances or idlers placed on the slack side of the belt
create more wrap around the smaller pulley to transmit the required load.

B. ROUND BELTS

Round belts (Figure 2) and o-ring belts are light- to heavy-duty


power transmission belts. These products are also called endless
drive belts or endless round belts.

Round belts are solid or hollow lengths of cylindrical material. They


maintain contact with belt pulleys using friction and must be
stretched or elongated to operate

In addition to providing power transmission for straight conveyors,


round belts can be twisted 90 degrees (a quarter turn) to turn a shaft Figure 2
whose axis is rotated a quarter turn from the drive shaft.

C. V-BELTS

V-belts are commonly used in industrial


applications because of their relative low cost,
ease of installation, and wide range of sizes (Fig.
4). The V-shape makes it easier to keep fast-
moving belts in sheave grooves than it is to keep
a flat belt on a pulley.

The biggest operational advantage of a V-belt is


the wedging action into the sheave groove. This
geometry multiplies the low tensioning force to
increase friction force on the pulley sidewalls
(Fig. 3). Figure 3

CE314 – ENGINEERING UTILITIES 2 (BASIC MECHANICAL ENGINEERING)


Engr. Dennis E. Ganas
Mechanical Engineering Department
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
3

Figure 4

 Classical V-belts are frequently used individually, particularly in A and B sizes.


The larger C, D, and E sizes generally are not used in single-belt drives because
of cost penalties and inefficiencies. Multiple A or B belts are economical
alternatives to using single-belt C, D, or E sections.

 Narrow V-belts, for a given width, offer higher power ratings than conventional V-
belts. They have a greater depth-to-width ratio, placing more of the sheave under
the reinforcing cord. These belts are suited for severe duty applications, including
shock and high starting loads.

 Banded V-belts (Figure 5) solve problems


conventional multiple V-belt drives have with pulsating
loads. The intermittent forces can induce a whipping
action in multiple-belt systems, sometimes causing
belts to turn over. The joined configuration avoids the
need to order multiple belts as matched sets.

Figure 5

D. SYNCHRONOUS BELTS

Synchronous belts have a toothed profile that mates with


corresponding grooves in the pulleys, providing the same
positive engagement as gears or chains. They are used in
applications where indexing, positioning, or a constant speed
ratio is required.

CE314 – ENGINEERING UTILITIES 2 (BASIC MECHANICAL ENGINEERING)


Engr. Dennis E. Ganas
Mechanical Engineering Department
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
4

The first tooth profile used on synchronous belts was the


trapezoidal shape (Fig. 6). It is still recognized as standard.
Recent modifications to tooth profiles have improved on the
original shape. The full-rounded profile distributes tooth
loads better to the belt tension members. It also provides
greater tooth shear strength for improved load capacity.

A modified curvilinear tooth design has a different pressure


angle, tooth depth, and materials for improved load/life
capacity and non-ratcheting resistance.

Synchronous belts can wear rapidly if pulleys are not aligned


properly, especially in long-center-distance drives, where
belts tend to rub against pulley flanges. To prevent the belt
from riding off the pulleys, one of them is usually flanged. A
recent development has produced a belt and pulley that use
a V-shaped, instead of straight, tooth shape. It runs quieter
than the other shapes and doesn't require pulley flanges. Figure 6

E. LINK BELTS

Link-type V-belts consist of removable links that are joined to


adjacent links by shaped ends twisted through the next link
(Fig. 7). With this design, belts can be made up of any length,
reducing inventory. The belts are available in 3L, A/4L, B, C,
and D widths in lengths from 5 to 100 ft.

These belts can transmit the same horsepower as classic V-


belts. The links are made of plies of polyester fabric and
polyurethane that resist heat, oil, water, and many chemicals.

Figure 7

Advantages of link belts include quickly making up matched sets, fast installation
because machinery doesn't have to be disassembled, and vibration dampening.

Disadvantages include cost and the possible generation of static charges. The belt
should be grounded when used in high-dust applications.

CE314 – ENGINEERING UTILITIES 2 (BASIC MECHANICAL ENGINEERING)


Engr. Dennis E. Ganas
Mechanical Engineering Department
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
5

TYPES OF BELT DRIVES:

In a two pulley system, depending upon the direction the belt drives the pulley, the belt
drives are divided into two types. They are open belt drive and crossed belt drive. The
two types of belt drives are discussed below in brief.

A. OPEN BELT DRIVES:

An open belt drive is used to rotate the driven


pulley in the same direction of driving pulley.
In the motion of belt drive, power
transmission results make one side of pulley
more tightened compared to the other side. In
horizontal drives, tightened side is always
kept on the lower side of two pulleys because
the sag of the upper side slightly increases
the angle of folding of the belt on the two
pulleys.

B. CROSSED BELT DRIVES:

A crossed belt drive is used to rotate driven


pulley in the opposite direction of driving
pulley. Higher the value of wrap enables
more power can be transmitted than an open
belt drive. However, bending and wear of the
belt are important concerns.

CALCULATIONS

where
L = length of belt (mm, inches)
d = driven pulley (sheave) diameter (mm, inches)
D = drive pulley (sheave) diameter (mm, inches)
C = center to center distance of drive and driven pulleys (mm, inches)

CE314 – ENGINEERING UTILITIES 2 (BASIC MECHANICAL ENGINEERING)


Engr. Dennis E. Ganas
Mechanical Engineering Department
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
6

ASSIGNMENT 2:
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of belts compared to other forms of power
transmission (i.e. gears, chains)?
2. Give several applications for each type of belt.
3. What is alignment and why is it very important in belt drives?
4. Identify and describe the types of belt misalignment.
5. What is belt tension and why is it important?
Due date: September 11, 2020, 5pm.

QUIZ 1:
September 17, 2020, 10-11am.
 Coverage - Lectures 1 – 4

CE314 – ENGINEERING UTILITIES 2 (BASIC MECHANICAL ENGINEERING)


Engr. Dennis E. Ganas
Mechanical Engineering Department
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING