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09

Flexible Mechanical Elements

9.0

Introduction

9.1

Belts

9.1.1 Flat and Round-Belt Drives

9.1.2 The Contact Angles

9.1.3 The Steps in Analysing a Flat-Belt Drive

9.2

Chains

9.2.2 The Application of Chain Drives

9.2.3 Drive Design

9.2.4 Chain and Sprocket Design

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Introduction
Belts, ropes, chains and other similar elastic or
flexible machine elements are used in conveying
systems and in the transmission of power over
comparatively long distances.
The use of these elements simplifies the design
of a machine and substantially reduces the cost.
These elements are elastic and usually quite
long, they play an important part in absorbing
shock loads and in damping out and isolating the
effects of vibration.
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Belts
Characteristics of some common belt types
Belt Type

Figure

Joint

Size range

Centre
distance

Flat

Yes

t = { 0.75 to 5
mm

No upper limit

Round

Yes

d = 3 to 20 mm

No upper limit

V

None

b = 8 to 19 mm

Limited

Timing

None

p = 2 mm and
up

Limited

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The characteristics of belts are:
They may be used for long centre 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 centre
distance that are ordinarily necessitated by
age or the installation of new belts.

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(b) Crossed belt
(a) Open belt
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(a) Non-reversing open belt
(b) reversing belt drive
(c) reversing open-belt drive
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Quarter-twist belt
drive; an idler guide
pulley must be used if
motion is to be in both
directions

This drive eliminates the
need for a clutch. Flat belt
can be shifted left or right
by use of a fork.

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Variable speed belt drives
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Flat and Round-Belt Drives
Modern flat-belt drives consist of a strong elastic
core surrounded by an elastomer; these drives
have distinct advantages over gear drives or V -
belt drives.
A flat-belt drive has an efficiency of about 98
percent, which is about the same as for a gear
drive. On the other hand, the efficiency of a V-belt
drive ranges from about 70 to 96 percent.
Flat-belt drives produce very little noise and
absorb more torsional vibration from the system
than either V-belt or gear drives.

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C
d D
d
2
sin 2
1

=

t u
C
d D
D
2
sin 2
1

+ =

t u
where D = diameter of large pulley
d = diameter of small pulley
C = center distance
u = angle of contact

The length of the belt
L = [4C
2
- (D - d)
2
]
1
/
2
+1/2

(Du
D
+ du
d
)
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For these the angle of wrap is the same for both
pulleys and is
u = t + 2 sin
-1

C
d D
2
+
The belt length for crossed belts is found to be
L = [4C
2
- (D + d)
2
]
1
/
2
+ u/2

(D + d)
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Figure 9.6
Free-body of an
infinitesimal element
of a flat belt in
contact with a pulley
du
F
F + dF
dN
fdN
dS
dS due to centrifugal force
dN - normal force between the belt and pulley
f dN - shearing traction due to friction at the point of slip
belt width b
thickness t

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Belt speed,

1000
dn
V
t
=
m/sec
The weight e of
meter of belt
6
10
bt
e =
N/m
where = weight density (N/m
3
)
Hoop tension due to centrifugal force,
N
v
V
g
F
c
81 . 9
) (
2
2
e e
= =
14
where
Fi = initial tension
AF = tension due to the transmitted torque T
D = diameter of the pulley

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F1 F2 = 2T / D = T / D/2
c i
F
F F
F
+
=
2
2 1
1 ) exp(
1 ) exp(

+
=
|
|
f
f
D
T
F
i
1 ) exp(
) exp( 2
+
+ =
|
|
f
f
F F F
i c i
(F
1
)
a
= b F
a
C
p
Cv
where (F
1
)
a
= allowable largest tension, N
b = belt width, mm
F
a
= manufacturers allowed tension,
N/mm or N/m
C
p
= pulley correction factor
C
v
= velocity correction factor

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The Steps in Analysing a Flat-Belt Drive
1. Find exp(f|) from belt-drive geometry and friction
2. From belt geometry and speed find F
c

3. From Nm find necessary torque

4. From torque T find necessary (F
1
)
a
F
2
= 2T/D
5. Find F
2
from (F
1
)
a
[(F
1
)
a
F
2
]

6. From eq. find necessary initial tension F
i

7. Check the friction development, f < f. Solve for f:

8. Find the factor of safety from fos = H
a
/(H
nom
K
s
)

n
n HK
T
d s
159
=
c i
F
F F
F
+
=
2
2 1
c
c a
F F
F F
f

=
2
1
) (
ln
1
'
|
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Chains
A chain drive consists of endless chain wrapped
around two sprockets
The chain consists of a number of links connected by
pin joints, while the sprockets are toothed wheels with
a special profile of teeth.
The chain drive is intermediate between belt and gear
drives. It has so some features of belt drives and
some of gear drives.

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Cost effectiveness and economy of chains and sprockets.
Large speed ratios;
Sufficient elasticity to absorb reasonable shocks;
A constant speed ratio between the driving and driven shaft;
Long life without excessive maintenance;
Mechanical understandability regarding installation and
functionality;
Coupling and uncoupling with simple tools; and
A simple means to get power from its source to the location where
needed.
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The Application of Chain drives
Chain drives are popular in the transportation industry, such as
bicycles, motor cycles and automobile vehicles. They are used in
metal and wood working machinery for the transmission of
power. They are used in textile, building construction and
materials handling machinery.

Drive Design
The steps to design the drive as follows:
Selection of the chain and sprocket sizes.
Determination of chain length, center distance, method of
lubrication, and in some cases the arrangement of chain casings
and idlers.
Chain and sprocket selection is based on the
horsepower and type of drive;
the speeds and sizes of the shafting;
the surrounding conditions.