Friday, December 8, 2017

Gates Around the World

Did you know that Gates is an industry leader not just here in the United States but in countries around the world.  From California to Shanghai and everywhere in between, Gates has resources to assist you with your power transmission or fluid power needs.  To locate the Gates facility nearest to you, simply visit and use the upper "Select Region" tab to navigate to your specific region.  Once there, you will find a plethora of helpful information including Gates products, services, and customer contacts.  This information can be used to troubleshoot a drive, locate the correct replacement products, and even locate a Gates representative that can provide you direct assistance with any of your needs.

For further information, or for assistance with a belt drive selection contact Gates Product Application Engineering at or 303-744-5800.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Estimating Horsepower Loads for Pumps

The power requirements for pumps should always be obtained from manufacturers if possible, but this may not always be feasible when quick field estimates are needed. The following equation can be used to estimate the power required to drive pumps:

Estimate the pump power requirement by dividing horsepower calculated above by the pump efficiency. An efficiency of approximately 70% can be used for centrifugal pumps, and approximately 80% for vane and gear pumps. Efficiency of reciprocating pumps can  vary significantly depending on pressure and stroke length.  Approximate efficiencies are included in the following table:

This approximation for pump power requirements can be used for quick estimations, or when accurate data cannot be obtained from pump manufacturers. For further information, or for assistance with a belt drive selection contact Gates Product Application Engineering at or 303-744-5800.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

BIRD™: Belt Installation and Rotation Device

When you’re in charge of safety, you’re in charge of protecting people’s lives. Especially in highly volatile environments like oil drilling, mining, construction, and manufacturing. One small oversight could shut down your operation—and cost you millions in lost production, downtime, or even someone’s life. At Gates, we take safety seriously.

That is why Gates has introduced the BIRD™, the Belt Installation and Rotation Device, which is a switchable magnetic clamp equipped with permanent magnets and is designed for attachment (by hand) to metallic sheaves and sprockets.

The BIRD is a specially designed, tightly compacted device, which creates a magnetic field that develops an incredible attractive force on ferromagnetic materials.

And just as the BIRD is a tool for safety, Gates recommends practicing safety when using this device. The BIRD may only be used to rotate metallic sheaves and sprockets. Proper use includes adherence to the start-up, operating, environment, and maintenance conditions specified by Gates. The user bears sole responsibility for understanding this operating manual as well as for the proper use and maintenance of the BIRD.

Please contact Gates Product Application Support at 303-744-5800 or if you have any questions prior to using this device.

Calculating Proper Belt Length

We are often contacted to calculate the belt length of a specific drive given the center distance, and pulleys sizes are known.  Of course, we are glad to help in any way possible but if this calculation is needed after hours, or a phone is not readily available to you, it can be made through the equation below.

Lp = Belt pitch length (inches)
C = Center distance (inches)
D = Large pulley diameter (inches)
d = Small pulley diameter (inches)

For additional information on this or any other topic please contact Gates Product Application Engineering by phone at 303-744-5800 or by email at

Not All Sprockets Have Flanges

Did you know that not all sprockets have flanges? In belt drive systems Gates typically only recommends the smaller sprocket to have flanges on both sides.  This is to account for any belt tracking issues that may occur if alignment between the sprockets is slightly off.  When misalignment becomes worse, the belt tends to track in one direction rather than remain neutral on the sprocket.

Flange Cutoffs

8MM Poly Chain
14MM Poly Chain
2MM PowerGrip GT2
3MM PowerGrip GT2
5MM PowerGrip GT2
5MM PowerGrip GT2 AL
8MM PowerGrip GT2
14MM PowerGrip GT2
3MM PowerGrip HTD
5MM PowerGrip HTD
20MM PowerGrip HTD

Ventilation for Belt Drives

Increasing ventilation around belt drives can help reduce belt operating temperatures in applications with high ambient temperatures, or on applications operating in enclosures. This can be accomplished by adding vents to belt guards, by providing a cooler external air source, or by even adding fins to sheaves.

V-Belts and Low Temperature Operation

In extremely low temperature operations, the rubber material in V-belts becomes stiff. At sufficiently low temperatures, the rubber will actually reach a glass point, where (as the name implies) the rubber is hard and will shatter like glass if it is bent.

This is an extreme condition but approaching this state the rubber will go through various degrees of stiffness. As long as a drive is in operation, the heat generated through drive friction and bending will increase the internal belt temperature and maintain belt flexibility in temperatures well below the normally accepted minimum operating temperature. Trying to immediately transmit a load through a belt which has taken a cold set can cause belt failure because the belt is too rigid to bend.

Search This Blog