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Belt Selection Considerations

1.1 Belt Drive Advantages 1.2 Belt Drive Disadvantages 2 Belt Drive Principles 2.1 Area of Contact 2.1.1 Crossed Belt Drive 2.1.2 Pulley Center-to-Center Distance 2.1.3 Idler Pulleys 2.2 Belt Tension 2.2.1 Accurate Belt Tensioning 2.2.2 Establishing Belt Tension 2.3 Coefficient of Friction 3 V-Belts 3.1 V-Belt Construction 3.2 V-Belt Components 3.2.1 Tensile Member 3.2.2 Undercord 3.2.3 Overcord 3.2.4 Cover 3.2.5 Adhesion Resin 3.3 V-Belt Length 3.4 V-Belt Performance 3.5 V-Belt Types 3.5.1 Conventional Belts 3.5.2 Narrow V-Belt 3.5.3 Molded Notched V-Belts 3.5.4 Double V-Belts 3.5.5 Power Band V-Belts 3.5.6 Light Duty V-Belts 3.6 Correct V-Belt Selection 3.6.1 Poly V-Belt Advantages 3.6.2 Poly V-Belt Cross-Section 4 Variable Speed Belts 4.1 Variable Speed Belt Construction 4.2 Variable Speed Cross-Sections 4.3 Variable Speed Belt Sheaves 4.4 Variable Speed Drives 4.4.1 Single Variable Sheave 4.4.2 Dual Variable Sheaves 4.4.3 Countershaft Dual Variable Sheaves 4.4.4 Variable Speed Sheave Alignment 4.4.5 Variable Sheave Alignment 4.4.6 Variable Sheave Maintenance

4.5 Positive, or timing, belts are used in applications where slippage cannot be tolerated. Input and output shafts of the drive unit must be synchronized. These belts have a [[Gear_Drives#Spur_Gear_Tooth_Profiles|tooth profile]] which mates with corresponding grooves in the [[Simple_Machines#Pulley|pulleys]], thereby providing the same positive engagement as chain or gear drives. 4.5.1 Timing Belt Pulleys 4.5.2 Positive Drive Pitch Sizes 4.5.3 Positive Drive Belt Pulleys 4.5.4 Minimum Pulley Diameters 4.5.5 Selecting Positive Drive Belts 4.5.6 Positive Drive Idlers 4.5.7 Linked V-Belts 4.5.8 Flat Belts 4.5.9 Flat Belt Pulleys 4.5.10 Crowned Pulleys 4.5.11 Flat Belt Idler Pulleys 4.5.12 Cone Pulleys 4.5.13 Flat Belt Joining 4.5.14 Vulcanized Advantages 4.5.15 Flat Belt Fasteners 4.5.16 Plate-Type Fasteners 4.6 V-Belt Sheaves 4.6.1 Standard Dimensions 4.6.2 Routine Sheave Maintenance 4.6.3 Checking Belt Alignment 4.6.4 Sheave Balancing 4.6.5 Sheaves for V-Belt Drives 4.6.6 Taper Lock Bushing Installation 4.6.7 Taper Lock Bushing Removal 4.6.8 Belt Installation 4.6.9 Worn Belt Removal 4.6.10 Belt Tensioning Motor Bases 4.6.11 Troubleshooting Belt Drives Belt drives for power transmission are classed as frictional drives. The belt transmits power by friction contact between the belt and the driving and driven sheave. Power transmission belts are available in several types: flat belts, V-belts, synchronous belts, and multi-ribbed belts.

To obtain the best service from any particular belt application, remember:

1. Select the correct belt for the job. 2. Ensure that the belt is installed correctly and used properly.

Belt Selection Considerations


Environmental conditions in which the belt will operate, such as: exposure to oil and grease, range of operating temperatures, abrasive dust and chemical conditions, sunlight, and other weather conditions. Other considerations include:

Type of drive required Driver/Driven Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) Horsepower requirements Pulley diameters and center distance Take-up allowances and take-up design Space limitation for operation Pulsating or shock load conditions Static dissipation problems Belt availability and inventory considerations Belt construction and service life

Belt Drive Advantages


Wide range of speeds available. Belts permit flexibility ranging from high horsepower drives to slow speed and high speed drives . Belt drives are less expensive than chain drives for low horsepower and low ratio applications. Belts require no lubrication. Single belt drives will accept more misalignment than chain drives. Flat belts are best for extremely high speed drives. Belt drives cushion shock loads and load fluctuations. Belts will slip under overload conditions, preventing mechanical damage to shafts, keys, and other machine parts.

Belt Drive Disadvantages


Belts cannot be used where exact timing or speed is required because slippage does occur (only timing belts can be used). Belts are easily damaged by oil, grease, abrasives, some chemicals, and heat. Belts can be noisy; also loose or worn belts can be a major cause of machinery vibration.

Belt Drive Principles

Flat belts and V-belts transmit power by their grip on the pulley or sheave. Three major factors determine the potential of the grip: 1. Area of contact 2. Belt tension 3. Friction between the belt and pulley or sheave surface (coefficient of friction)

Area of Contact
The area of contact is determined by width and the arc of contact. The arc of contact with pulleys of equal diameters is 180 degrees on each pulley, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Area of Contact Pulleys of equal size are not always used. With pulleys of unequal diameter, the arc of contact is less than 180 degrees on the smaller pulley. Under most conditions, this small pulley is the driver. An example is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Unequal Pulleys An arc of contact greater than 180 degrees can be obtained three ways: 1. A crossed belt drive. 2. Moving the input and output shafts farther apart. 3. Using an idler or snub pulley.

Crossed Belt Drive


A crossed belt drive, as shown in Figure 3, is not usually recommended for V-belts. In the crossed position, the center-to- center distance between the pulleys must be long enough to limit the internal stress in a belt. Crossed belt drives make the pulleys rotate in opposite directions to each other.

Figure 3: Crossed Belt Drive

Pulley Center-to-Center Distance


For maximum power transfer on the belts and pulleys, the pulley ratio should be 3 to 1 or less as shown in Figure 4 Top. Higher ratios, as in Figure 4 Bottom, lessen the arc of contact, causing slippage and loss of power.

Figure 4: Pulley Center to Center Distance The arc of contact on the critical smaller pulley may be increased if the shafts are moved farther apart as shown in Figure 5. Where a high ratio is required, a two-step drive (countershaft) can be used to avoid excessive single-step ratios or undersize pulleys.

Figure 5: Increase Arc of Contact

Idler Pulleys

A properly designed V-belt drive does not require an idler to deliver fully rated horsepower if proper belt tension and area of contact are maintained. Idlers put an additional bending stress on the belt, which reduces belt life. Also, the smaller the idler pulley, as shown in Figure 6, the greater reduction in belt life.

Figure 6: Idler Pulley The best location for an inside idler is on the slack side of the drive. Figure 7 Top shows a backside idler that is commonly used to help increase the arc of contact on both pulleys. This idler forces a backward bend in the belt, which decreases belt life. The idler puts additional strain on the bottom portion of the belt, which may crack that section. The diameter of the flat idler pulley should be at least 1.5 times the diameter of the smallest sheave located as close as possible to the small sheave. Figure 7 Middle shows an inside idler. An inside idler reduces the arc of contact but the amount of take-up is unlimited. The smaller arc of contact will decrease the horsepower rating of each belt. Figure 7 Bottom shows a backside idler, which is located as close as possible to the driven pulley. In this example, the idler helps to increase the arc of contact on the large diameter pulley, which reduces belt slippage problems that may be encountered on the driven side.

Figure 7: Idler Positions

Belt Tension
The best tension for a V-belt is the lowest tension at which the belts will not slip under full load. Other belt tension recommendations are:

Check the belt tension frequently during the first 24 to 48 hours of run-in operation. Maintain sheave alignment while tensioning the drive. Make V-belt drive inspections periodically checking belt tension. Keep all belts free from foreign material, which can cause slippage. Over-tensioning belts will lead to reduced belt and bearing life. To tighten a belt drive unit, take up the drive until the belts are snug in the grooves. Run the drive for a few minutes to allow the belts to seat. If the belts slip, tighten them until slippage is minimal when a full load is applied. Many experienced maintenance people develop a feel for belt tension, and often it may not be critical to have extremely accurate tensioning. If an accurate tension is required, a numerical method for determining and setting belt tension can be used. This method provides accurate tension values using a tension tester or a spring scale. This method should only be applied if the belt drive has been selected from

stock drive tables of belt manufacturers and the number of belts on the drive conforms to manufacturer's recommendations.

Accurate Belt Tensioning


Refer to Figure 8 for reference to the following tensioning steps: 1. Measure the span "T". 2. At the center "T" apply force with the tension tester perpendicular to the span, sufficient to deflect one belt of the drive 1/64th inch per one inch of span length from its normal position.

Figure 8: Belt Tension Measurement 1. Determine the amount of deflection distance on the lower linear scale of tension tester, as shown in Figure 9, by sighting straight across the tops of the belts. A straight edge laid across the belts can provide accurate readings.

Figure 9: Tension Tester 1. Find the amount of deflection force on the upper scale of the tester. The sliding rubber O-ring collar slides down scale as the tester compresses. The collar stays down to give a pressure reading. 2. Compare the deflection force reading with the general range of forces listed in Table 1. If less than normal recommended deflection force exists, belts should be tightened. If more than maximum deflection force is found, the drive may be tighter than needed. Table 1: Recommended deflection Forces Recommended Deflection Forces (in lbs.) Belt A B C D E 3V 5V 8V NormalMaximumNew Belts 2 4 8 12 21 4 9 20 3 6 12 22 35 7 12 30 4 8 14 26 40 9 15 40

1. A V-belt manufacturers manual will provide a proper deflection force figure to suit specific belt types. Example: Find the deflection required for a new C-section V-belt installed on sheaves with 32-inch centers and a required pull of 14 pounds.

T=32 inches Deflection= T/64=32"/64"=12 "(12.7 mm) The drive will be tightened up until the deflection of the belts is 1/2 inch with a 14-pound push. Figure 10 shows how a spring scale can be used to obtain the required deflection force for accurately tensioning a belt. A ruler can be used to measure the belt after the required deflection force is applied.

Figure 10: Spring Scale

Establishing Belt Tension


The drive powers the driven pulley by the pull, which results in increased tension and stretch on the tight side of the unit as it overcomes the load resistance. The slack side has no tension increase, it simply returns to the driven pulley. As shown in Figure 11, belts should run with a distinct tight and slack side.

Figure 11: Establishing Belt Tension Keep take-up guides, rails and motor base area free of dirt, moisture and grit. Keep the take-up screws clean and periodically apply a light lubrication. This makes for easier adjustments when belts have to be tightened or replaced. If one or more belts are too loose (Figure 12) or too tight (Figure 13), one of the following problems exists:

Worn sheaves Improper belt tension Damaged belts Improperly matched belts Angular sheave misalignment

Figure 12: Too Loose

Figure 13: Too Tight

Coefficient of Friction
Figure 14 can be used to help define the coefficient of friction for belt drives. If a body of weight ("W") rests on a horizontal plane surface and a force ("P") parallel to the surface is sufficient to cause the body to be at a point of slipping, then the ratio of "P" to "W" is the coefficient of friction ("F") between the two surfaces. Coefficient of Friction (F)= P/W

Figure 14: Determining COF Friction between sliding surfaces, as in belt and pulley surfaces, is not influenced by the area of surface. The friction is solely dependent on the character and condition of the faces, and the total pressure normal to the faces.

V-Belts
V-belts are designed to operate in V-shaped grooves in the sheaves used for power transmission. V-belts have a major advantage over other types of belt friction drives; as the wedging effect of the belt pushing into the sheave results in lower belt take-up tension being required. For the same horsepower, sheave diameter, and sheave speeds, V-belts will operate with lower tension and, therefore, lower bearing load than other friction-type belt drives.

V-Belt Construction
Industry standards exist which control sheave groove details for V-belts. Due to manufacturing differences, mold details and various belt materials, the belt of one manufacturer may differ slightly in shape, stretch and friction characteristics from belts of the same cross-section made by another manufacturer. Belt manufacturers meet the standards and tolerances as set by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). Each manufacturers belt must operate at the same speed in the standardized sheave groove.

V-Belt Components
A V-belt consists of five inter-related components. Refer to Figure 15 for reference to typical V-belt construction.

Figure 15: V-Belt Components

Tensile Member
The tensile member or pitch line purpose is to withstand the tension or pull that is imposed to transmit the desired power. The tensile member materials commonly used are rayon, nylon, polyester, steel, fiberglass, and Kevlar.

Undercord
The undercord materials commonly used are: natural or synthetic rubber compounds, fiberloaded rubber compounds, woven natural or synthetic cords, or piles.

Overcord
The overcord locates the tensile member correctly in relation to other belt components, and it also assists in preventing the tensile member from sagging in the center under load.

Cover
The cover protects the internal belt components from weather and environmental conditions. It also provides the wearing surface for the belt. The cover must remain flexible, and may be oil and heat resistant. The cover material meets RMA standards for static conductivity, and most belt covers are flame-resistant; they do not catch fire from heat buildup if the belt is subjected to severe slippage.

Adhesion Resin
The adhesion resins or gums act as a cushion to prevent tensile members from rubbing together as well as fully bonding all of the belt components together. Continual flexing of the belt tends to loosen the cords from the surrounding bonding material. To prevent excess cord separation, the adhesive resins must completely saturate the tensile cords. Through a

hot vulcanizing process, both the adhesion gums and tensile members are joined in a chemical bond, which is flexible and permanent.

V-Belt Length
Table 2 has been designated by the RMA as the tolerance range for matched belts up to 63 inches in length. All belts in a set up to 63 inches must not vary more than the recommended RMA tolerance; otherwise, the load will not be distributed and the belts will wear out faster. Table 2: RMA Tolerance Range Belt Length (inches) up to 63 63-150 151-250 251-375 376-500 501-660 RMA Tolerance (inches)Tolerance as a Ratio of Max. Length .15 .30 .45 .60 .75 .90 .0024 .0020 .0018 .0016 .0015 .0014

Belt manufacturers originally used a complex system of labeling matched belts with numbers. For example, a belt numbered 50 indicated an ideal length for that particular size. Numbers less than 50 (49, 48, etc.) were belt lengths shorter than the ideal while numbers greater than 50 (51, 52, etc.) were longer than the ideal. To stay within the RMA tolerance, belts had to be matched with other belts that were in an appropriate range. Under the old length system, belt users had to spend extra time searching through shelves of V-Belts to find belts in the correct number range. Extra inventory had to be ordered and maintained. Belt manufacturers changed this system in the early 1980s. Belt molds were upgraded, curing procedures redesigned, and better measuring devices developed. Exact length belts were developed and no special match numbers were required. All belt manufacturers using this system have their belts in the same tolerance range. Any exact length belt of a given length runs with any other exact length belt of the same size and type made by that manufacturer. Interchanging V-belts made by two different manufacturers could be a problem as each manufacturer may use different materials that stretch and wear at different rates.

V-Belt Performance
Some exact length V-belts may appear to hang unevenly when installed. It is normal for belts that are only hundredths of an inch apart in length to create noticeable differences in deflection (within RMA tolerances). The sag is more noticeable on longer length drives, but does not affect the drive performance or the belts ability to equally share the load. This condition may also be referred to as the catenary effect. If an 8V2500 V-belt is in use, the allowable length tolerance is approximately .45 inch. This means that in any set 8V2500 belts, the difference between the shortest and longest belt cannot exceed .45 inch. Therefore, over the belt length span each belt will hang differently because of the allowable length tolerance set by the RMA.

V-Belt Types Conventional Belts


The conventional V-belt is the most common belt in use. These belts are sized as to crosssection and there are five cross-section sizes (A, B, C, D, E) as shown in Figure 16.

Figure 16: Conventional V-Belt Sizes Conventional V-belts are made with either a flat or a concave sidewall. Bend a V-belt as if it were running around a sheave. One can feel the concave sides fill out and become straight as in Figure 17. This precise fit ensures full contact with the sides of the sheave and the belt grips the sheave evenly, distributing the wear uniformly across the side of the belt.

Figure 17: V-Belt on a Sheave Table 3 identifies conventional V-Belt length ranges, angles, maximum cross-section width, and belt thickness. Table 3: Conventional V-Belts Section A Length Range (in.)Angle (0)Top Width (in.)Thickness (in.) 14-180 42 .500 (1/2) .313 (5/16)

B C D E

22-330 51-480 120-600 210-660

42 42 42 42

.656 (21/32) .875 (7/8) 1.250 (1 1/4) 1.250 (1 1/2)

.406 (13/32) .531 (17/32) .750 (3/4) .906 (29/32)

Narrow V-Belt
Narrow cross-section V-belts transmit up to three times the horsepower of conventional Vbelts in the same drive space, or the same horsepower. Three cross-sections of narrow Vbelts are available, as shown in Figure 18; again all sizes are nominal.

Figure 18: V-Belt Cross-Section Narrow V-belts provide savings in drive space with narrower sheaves, shorter centers, smaller sheave diameters, and reduced sheave weight which may help decrease bearing loads. Greater speeds can be handled by this type of V-belt; up to 6,500 FPM. Narrow Vbelts have a narrow cross-section, but they sit deeper in the sheave groove than a conventional V-belt. Concave sides are commonly used which makes for more uniform belt wear. The radius relief minimizes corner wear and the arched top helps prevent dishing and distorting of the tensile member. The belt number identifies the belt cross-section and effective length. The number preceding, such as 3V, indicates the top width of the belt in 1/8ths of an inch. The number following indicates the effective outside circumference. Example: 3V400 = 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) cross-section and 40 inch (1,016 mm) effective outside circumference Table 4 identifies narrow V-belt length ranges, angles, widths, and thicknesses. Table 4: Narrow V-Belts Section 3V Length Range (in.)Angle (0)Top Width (in.)Thickness (in.) 25-150 38 .375 (3/8) .313 (5/16)

5V 8V

50-355 100-560

40 40

.625 (5/8) 1.000 (1)

.531 (17/32) .875 (7/8)

Molded Notched V-Belts


Notched V-belts provide higher horsepower rating than conventional cross-section belts. They are suited for drives with smaller sheave diameters where conventional cross-section V-belts would not be practical. Notched V-belts, as shown in Figure 19, can be used on some heavy duty A, B, C, and D drives. The molded notch in the belts bottom surface helps to reduce bending stress and provides uniform distribution of load. Notches also help to dissipate the heat of rapid flexing.

Figure 19: Notched V-Belt

Double V-Belts
Double V-belts are used on serpentine drives, as shown in Figure 20, transmit power to two or more sheaves through both the top and bottom of the belt.

Figure 20: Double V-Belt Figure 21 shows two styles of a double V-belt cross-section.

Figure 21: Two Styles of Double V-Belt Cross Section Double V-belts are manufactured in four cross-sections, identified as AA, BB, CC, and DD. See Figure 22 for correct double V-belt cross-sections and nominal sizes.

Figure 22: Double V-Belt Cross Sections and Nominal Sizes The length designation number for double V-belts is separated by the cross-section designation. Example: 3BB5 is a double B cross-section belt with a 35-inch effective outside circumference length. Table 5 identifies the various length ranges for double V-belts. Table 5: Double V-Belts Section AA BB CC CCF DD Length Range (in.) 51-128 35-300 75-420 240-900 120-360

Power Band V-Belts


On some V-belt drives, fluctuating loads induce vibration, causing the belts to whip particularly on the slack side. This severe belt whipping can result in the V-belts rolling over in the groove or jumping off the sheave. In either case, the belts are quickly damaged. It is often impossible to eliminate the cause of the vibration. Therefore, to solve the problem of rolling or jumping belts, power band V-belts are recommended for the drive. The power band V-belt is made by adding a common back or hand to the top of two or more belts. The belts and backing are vulcanized together to form a complete unit. The overcord section is

thicker than on a normal V-belt, thus the backing rides well above the sheave. The same wedging action in the sheave groove is obtained as with a set of individual V-belts. The backing provides for increased transverse rigidity. Figure 23 shows a cross-section view of a power band narrow V-belt. These belts do not prevent vibration, they merely restrict it to an up and down motion, and prevent the belts from rolling over in the groove or jumping off the sheave.

Figure 23: Cross-Section View of Power Band Narrow V-Belt The cross-section and spacing of a power band is such that standard multiple groove sheaves can be used. Cross-sections are also available in 3V, 5V, or 8V. Power band belts are also available in B, C, or D cross-sections. A and E cross-sections are available in production lots only. Figure 24 shows a conventional cross-section power band belt.

Figure 24: Conventional Cross-Section Power Band Belt Table 6 identifies the length range for both conventional and narrow cross-section power band V-belts. Table 6: Power Band V-Belt Length Range

Classical Section B C D

Wedge Length Range (in.)SectionLength Range (in.) 60-300 120-420 120-660 3V 5V 8V 60-140 118-355 112-660

Light Duty V-Belts


Light duty V-belts are used in the fractional horsepower range and are often referred to as fractional horsepower or FHP V-belts. They are commonly used singly on small pumps, compressors, lawn mowers, garden tractors, home appliances, small fans, and other light equipment. They generally transmit less than one horsepower. The RMA standard nominal cross-sections for light duty belts are identified as 2L, 3L, 4L and 5L. Figure 25 identifies the cross-section and nominal size of FHP V-belts.

Figure 25: Cross-Section and Nominal Size of FHP V-Belts Table 7 indicates the length range, angle, cross-section width, and the belt thickness for FHP V-belts. Table 7: Light Duty (FHP) V-Belts Section B C D length Range (in.)SectionLength Range (in.) 60-300 120-420 120-660 3V 5V 8V 60-140 118-355 112-660

Correct V-Belt Selection

The A, B, C, D, and E belts, the narrow 3V, 5V, and 8V belts, and the FHP 2L, 3L, 4L, and 5L belts are used in many applications. Know which type of belt to install on the machine's sheaves. If there is any uncertainty, measure the top width of the old belt or use a manufacturer's sheave and belt gage. The nominal dimensions of conventional, narrow, or FHP V-belts may appear confusing. For example, top widths of B and 5V belts are very close (1/32nd of an inch). The 5V belt is considerably thicker, and the groove angles of the sheave are quite different. Using the one cross-section type on a drive designed for the other leads to short term belt life. FHP V-belts should never be used on any heavy-duty industrial applications, even if they seem to fit the conventional or narrow V-belt sheave grooves. ===Poly V-Belts (Ribbed)=== A poly V-belt is a single unit with a longitudinally ribbed traction surface. As shown in Figure 26, the ribs mate with sheave grooves of the same shape. These belts offer power transmission capabilities of standard V-belts and the flexibility of flat belts. Uniform engagement of the belt into the sheave grooves and complete support of the tensile member eliminates differential driving and equalizes belt stresses.

Figure 26: Poly V-Belt (V-Ribbed) Poly V-belts have a greater area of belt sheave contact than either flat or standard or high capacity V-belts. They also take less space than standard V-belts, as shown in Figure 27.

Figure 27: Poly V-Belt

Poly V-Belt Advantages


Reduced belt thickness permits use of smaller sheaves. Lighter, more compact drives are available. Speed ratios of up to 40 to 1 are available. Center distances are reduced; space is saved with no loss in horsepower. Even distribution of pressure over all parts of the drive surface provides uniform loading. Smooth running, good response to shock loads. No belt turnover, smooth tracking.

Poly V-Belt Cross-Section


Table 8 identifies the cross-section of the three common poly V-belts. J, L, and M crosssection sizes cover a broad range of applications including appliances, automotive accessories, agricultural equipment, as well as light- and heavy-duty industrial drives. H and K cross-sections are available but they are limited to specialized drives. H is intended for miniature drives and K for automotive accessory drives. Table 8: Poly V-Belt Cross-Section

FHP V-Belts Section J L M Length Range (in.)No. of RibsRib Width (in.)Power Range (hp) 18-98 50-145.5 90-361 2-145 4-90 3-40 .094 (3/32) .188 (3/16) .375 (3/8) up to 15 5-50 25-1,700

Figure 28 is a cross-section selection chart for poly V-belts based on design horsepower.

Figure 28: Cross-Section Selection Chart for Poly V-Belts In reference to Figure 28:

Along the horizontal axis of the chart, find the design horsepower of the drive. On the left side of the chart, along the vertical axis, find the RPM of the faster shaft. The proper poly V-Belt cross-section is found where the two lines intersect.

Variable Speed Belts Variable Speed Belt Construction


Variable speed belts are molded into an arch construction shown in Figure 29. A strong compression section gives these belts excellent crosswise rigidity that resists squashing or distorting. Abrasion resistant compounds assure that the belt grips both faces of the sheave uniformly.

Figure 29: Variable Speed Belt The cog of construction on the belts underside, as shown in Figure 30, helps the belt to achieve extreme flexibility over small sheaves without loss of gripping action or cross rigidity.

Figure 30: Variable Speed Belt Flexibility

Variable Speed Cross-Sections


The RMA has established twelve variable speed belt cross-sections and sheave groove sizes for standard industrial drives. Standard nominal dimensions of the twelve belt crosssections are indicated in Table 9 and standard belt lengths are identified in Table 10.

Table 9: Normal Variable Speed Belt Cross-Section Refer to Figure 29 for reference to the dimensions of twelve cross-sections of variable speed belts on Table 9. The variable speed belts produced by various manufacturers may differ form the nominal dimension indicated in the tables, but all standard variable speed belts will operate interchangeably in standard sheave grooves designated by the same number. The twelve selected cross-sections of variable speed belts, ranging in top width from 7/8 inches and four sheave groove angles (22, 26, 30, and 36 degrees) will provide the necessary speed variation and power capacity for many industrial variable speed drives.

Table 10: Standard Variable Speed Belt Lengths

Variable Speed Belt Sheaves


Standard variable speed belt sheave designs conform to the dimensions and tolerance indicated in Table 11 and Figure 31. The included groove angle of the sheave, top width, and clearance are also identified.

Figure 31: Closed and Open Sheaves

Table 11: Variable Sheave Groove Dimensions The sides of the sheaves grooves should be smooth with a surface finish of 125 microinches or less. The groove surfaces should be free of defects, scratches, and the edges of the groove should be rounded. Variable speed sheaves should have a maximum TIR (Total Indicator Reading) of .010 inch eccentricity. Sheaves over 10 inches in diameter can have allowable eccentricity of .0005 inch per inch of additional diameter. Side wobble and run-out on the sheave should be held to within .001 inch TIR per inch of outside diameter. Most variable speed sheaves are designed for maximum rim speeds of 6,500 FPM (Feet Per Minute). Dynamic balancing is recommended where high speeds and vibration are present.