V-Belts – spoilt for choice
06 September 2013
Andy Pye crossed the Medway to view some of the challenges faced by the distributor of a seemingly innocuous and straightforward product – the simple V-belt.
Drive belts are used to transfer rotary motion between two shafts via a series of pulleys. V-belts are very common in power transmission/driving, conveying, sequencing and timing. The different types available are what make V-belts so versatile.
Options to customise V-belts are based around a wide variety of surfaces depending on what is required for the function they will perform. Some of the most common types include ribbed, notched, cogged, banded, wedged and smooth, each of which is designed to help serve a different purpose. Similarly, guides for v-belts come in several types, mostly based on shapes and surface, with the most common being a triangle, a rectangle, a rounded rectangular and a trapezoidal shape.
From a stockist's point of view, the versatility leads to a need to manage vast amounts of stock and manage a wide range of order types and business relationships, from single units to multiple trade orders. At Medway Power Transmission, V-belts represent just one item in an array of mechanical components used in the power transmission industry, including sprockets, couplings, gears and racks, rod ends, spherical bearings, ball joints and clevis linkages. In most cases, a standard range is offered under the Medway brand name, augmented by a premium product, in order to cater for a wider range of budgets, specs and expectations. And so, this vast array places even greater demands on the need for stock space, so much so that the machining and customisation arm of the company is set to move locally this autumn. Despatch is via a large commercial courier, even to get to the opposite side of Ashford!
The Medway range of V-belts covers V and Wedge Belts, Ribbed Belts and Timing Belts. The premium Dunlop range extends into Double-Sided/Hexagonal V-Belts, higher capacity Wedge Belts, Banded V-Belts, and Variable Speed Belts. Particular features of the Dunlop range include:
- No metal studs or plastic washers to pull through or break loose.
- Non-marking surface.
- High power transmission.
- Easily adjustable.
- Reverse bends or quarter turns.
- Permanent V-belt replacement.
- Easy replacement of links.
- Resists abrasion.
- Reduced vibration.
- Cool running.
Quick Guide to Drive Belts
V and Wedge Belts
Classic V-Belts and high capacity wedge belts remain the most widely used types. Offer dependable service with minimal maintenance in medium and heavy-duty applications. V-belts fit in a deep, V-shaped groove inside the pulley wheels, and provide high-traction power. Raw edge cogged versions enable smaller pulleys to be used. High capacity versions incorporate high strength polyester cords for low elongation and high tensile strength and are heat and oil-resistant and anti-static.
Ideally suited to high speed and/or high drive ratio applications that conventional V-belt drives are not suitable for. Smooth vibration-free performance in a single compact drive belt which is resistant to heat and abrasion.
Contemporary drive belt systems require higher power and torque and lower speeds, and smoother quieter operation. Higher level torque ranges serviced by chain and gear combinations.
Intended for Serpentine Drives, also known as a multi-V, poly-V, or multi-rib belt, a single, continuous belt used to drive multiple peripheral devices in an automotive engine, such as an alternator, power steering pump, water pump, air conditioning compressor, air pump, etc. The belt has a reverse bend around one or more pulleys and is required to drive on both sides of the belt. Also incorporate high strength polyester cords (see above).
Multiple belts joined together by neoprene fabric into a single driving belt unit. For heavy duty applications, shock loading and high vibration. Also for long centre distances, vertically mounted shafts and reverse drive applications.
Variable Speed BeltsUsed on industrial and agricultural machinery with infinitely variable drive ratios. Constructed for flexibility and low heat build-up.