# Conveyor Belt TENSION CALCULATIONS “Full-Motor” Method

Tension … According to “Belt Wizard” Conveyor operating “tension” is a fundamental criterion for belt selection. Over the years, many formulation methods have been created and utilized for making such calculations. Most of us are familiar with FDA’s “Belt Wizard” computer program. This customized program, based on the “CEMA model,” is a unique blending of various empirical formulas and field/operational data. Over the years, these formulations have been continually refined and updated … making “Belt Wizard” one of the most sophisticated and successful steady-state tension models available today. “Belt Wizard” makes all its calculations … including tension … from the input of a wide range of possible operational and product data. In the days before the “computer age,” such complex tension calculations could be very time-consuming! Back then, we referred to any of these more detailed tension models as the “long” calculation method. “Full-Motor” Calculation … an Alternative Method: To save time in those pre-digital days, we often opted to calculate tension using the “Full-Motor” method! This alternative tension approach had some obvious advantages … among them, requiring only a few basic inputs, and just ONE simple calculation! It also had some limitations … most noted was an “inflated” tension value. Sometimes referred to as the “short” tension calculation method, the “Full-Motor” calculation was typically represented as follows:
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I merely charted the Cw combinations that tended to be more common with lower motor horsepower applications. When motor nameplate values exceed 75 hp. the calculated tension values can become unreasonably high. and/or belt speeds drop below 300 feet/min. (For a more complete listing of “wrap factor” combinations. several “wrap factor” combinations are indeed possible.) Horsepower/Speed Relationships … Horsepower and speed are critical inputs to the “Full-Motor” calculation.38 Manual TU Bare 1.8 0.… where: PIW = lbs/in width (max operating tension) S = belt speed (ft/min) W = belt width (inches) HP = motor horsepower (nameplate) … and. … Checking belt “speed” From these inputs. I seldom would even bother with this calculation formula!! Cw (or Drive “Wrap Factor”) … This input data is based on drive wrap angle. and takeup information.84 0. That.0 Lagge d 0. of course. Cw = drive “wrap factor” Wrap Angle 1800 210 0 Automatic TU Bare 0. 133 of the CEMA v6 manual.) 2 .” (Final belt selection still needs to be qualified by the other four carcass selection criterion.66 Lagge d 0.2 1.50 0.7 “Full-Motor” Tension Realities: Basic Assumption … This simple tension format is based on assuming that 100% of the motor’s nameplate horsepower will be delivered directly into the belt. lagging. refer to p. can never happen!! Actual belt tension…as calculated by any more detailed “long” method…will surely reflect some lesser value. Such maximum tension calculations should only be used as an “initial estimate. On the previous page. In such situations.

etc). using it will ALWAYS generate HIGH tension values! Yet. Application Engineering August 2005 3 . that simple “Full-Motor” calculation will quickly help to “guide me” through the belt selection or the field problem-solving process.” I’ll still find myself using this “Full-Motor” calculation method … and often on a daily basis! True. in many applications.Frank Comment: In spite of today’s sophistication and availability of computer programs like “Belt Wizard. … “Full-Motor” candidates!! If you’re not already familiar with the “Full-Motor” calculation routine. I’m betting that it can help assist you in a similar fashion! George “Big G” Frank Manager. I may not even be in a position to access my “Belt Wizard” program (traveling. belt tension is simply not a factor! Sometimes. In these instances. you might want to get acquainted with it. or field issues.