Gates Belts & Applications - Tips and guidelines written by Gates Industrial Engineers

Poly Chain in the Winner's Circle!

Monday, August 22, 2016

posted by Brent at 12:17 PM 0 comments

Gates Poly Chain belts are used to power the superchargers in the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories in the NHRA.  The blower belt is subjected to loads of over 1000 HP, and explosive and damaging torque reversals in every run.   Gates belts have been used for decades, and lead the way with new technology for the application.

Gates sponsors John Force Racing, the legendary team led by John Force.   The most recent race, the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, MN saw strong performances by all of the team's cars, but in particular a win in the Top Fuel category by Brittany Force driving the Monster Energy Top Fuel Car.  Brittany made it through a tough field to beat 2 time Top Fuel champion Antron Brown in the final round.

The win is Brittany's third of the 2016 season, placing her 4th place for the season in points.

Gates is proud to sponsor John Force Racing in their chase for the title!

FDA Belting

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

posted by Tony at 10:20 AM 0 comments

Have you ever found yourself in need of a synchronous belt to be used in a area that needs a special, FDA construction?  Look not further.  Gates offers a construction option that will meet your FDA needs.  This FDA construction option is intended for use in applications where a food-grade belt construction is required.  These belts are a yellowish-tan, non-marking Duro 52 with a special non-coated jacket and are ideal for food conveyors, washdown applications and anti-bacterial conveyors. 

Please note: Gates synchronous belts have been used extensively throughout the food and beverage industry in applications where the belts do not directly contact food.

While the FDA does not either approve or disapprove of the use of belts in food-related application, they have identified certain materials or ingredients that have been approved.  Gates special yellow rubber compound specifically meets those FDA requirements regarding materials and ingredients. 

The USDA will evaluate and approve belts on an individual basis if submitted to them.  Gates has not requested any USDA approvals.  If the USDA belt approval is required, then the belt user should submit specific belt samples directly to the USDA.

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


Quick-Link - Gates Emergency V-belt Solution

Monday, July 25, 2016

posted by Michelle at 2:09 PM 0 comments

Unplanned drive downtime can be expensive.  However, stocking numerous replacement belt sizes can also be costly.  The Gates Quick-Link V-belt offers an alternative.  It can be quickly assembled by hand into whatever length you need.  

Quick-Link is available in the following sizes:

For a demonstration of the assembly process, watch our latest video:

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Rim Speed Limits For Sheaves / Pulleys / Sprockets

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

posted by Dan at 2:15 PM 0 comments

Belt drive hardware has rotational speed limits in order to prevent excessive hoop stress levels that could result in physical material failures.  Material failures can be catastrophic with fragments thrown outward at high velocities and energy levels, so speed limits should not be exceeded.

Speed limits are based on the hardware material, as well as on the hardware configuration.  Block style hardware is inherently stronger than hardware with rims or spokes, so can operate at higher speeds.

Rotational speed limits are most commonly expressed in terms of rim speeds.  Common units used to express rim speed are feet per minute (ft/min) and meters per second (m/s).  Maximum rpm limits can be calculated from rim speeds with hardware diameters known.  An equation to calculate hardware rpm from rim speed is as follows:

RPM = (Rim Speed (ft/min) x 3.82)/Diameter (in)

A table from the Mechanical Power Transmission Association Standard B13i-2013 containing rim speed limits for a variety of hardware configurations and materials is as follows:

Belt drive hardware is often stamped with maximum rpm values, and will likely be based on this data.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Gates Product Application Engineering at or at 303.744.5800.

Will It Fit - Poly Chain GT2 Sprockets

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

posted by Tony at 9:22 AM 0 comments

What belt will fit into what industry standard sprocket is a question we regularly receive here in Product Application.  Below is information regarding what Gates belts will fit into standard Poly Chain GT2 sprockets.  

**When designing belt drives for NEW APPLICATIONS with Poly Chain GT Carbon power ratings: DO NOT use Poly Chain GT sprocket systems.  Poly Chain GT sprockets/bushings may not handle the increased torque load capacity and damage to the sprocket and/or bushing may occur.  ONLY use Poly Chain GT2 sprockets for new designs.** 

For any additional questions, feel free to contact us at or 303-744-5800.

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Understanding V-belt Construction Terms

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

posted by Michelle at 2:58 PM 0 comments

V-belt construction features can be described by a variety of terms, which can cause confusion.  Here are some of the most common terms you may encounter:

  • Banded:
    • A fabric layer surrounds the belt
    • Also referred to as wrapped or covered
  • Bareback:
    • A type of banded V-belt where the fabric is not impregnated with rubber
    • Also referred to as low friction, dry cover, or clutching cover
  • Bandless:
    • No fabric surrounding the belt
    • Also referred to as cut edge, raw edge, or machined edge
  • Notched:
    • The bottom of the belt is notched (not flat)
    • Also referred to as cogged, molded notch, or cut notch
  • PowerBand®:
    • Multiple V-belt strands joined with a common backing
    • Also referred to as joined

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Interchanging OEM Original Equipment V-belts With Standard Aftermarket V-belts

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

posted by Dan at 9:39 AM 0 comments

V-belts are commonly used in many light duty type applications including outdoor power equipment (lawn mowers, rotor tillers, snow blowers, etc.), light duty ventilation fans, power tools (table saws, drill presses, wood lathes, etc.) and much more.  V-belts eventually need to be replaced, and obtaining appropriate replacements can be challenging.

OEM Originals
Replacement belts can nearly always be obtained from the original equipment manufacturers, and this is usually the best practice.  OEM Manufacturers often use belts that have been custom manufactured for them in special constructions or in custom lengths that function best in their equipment.  These special constructions are proprietary, so the special features may not be easily determined.

Truflex and PowerRated Replacements
If original OEM V-belts cannot be obtained, replacement belts can sometimes be identified dimensionally although performance and functionality may not be the same as the OEM originals.  When considering replacement belts from our Truflex and PowerRated light duty V-belt product lines, there are additional considerations.

Clutching Applications
Some applications use belts to provide a clutching function to engage and disengage the equipment.  Only PowerRated type V-belts should be used in these applications as they have been designed with a bareback type cover that allows graceful slippage and aramid tensile cords that will not shrink like Truflex V-belts when hot from slippage.  Using conventional Truflex V-belts could cause unsafe machinery engagement and belt shrinkage could prevent disengagement, resulting in potentially hazardous circumstances.

V-belt Length Variations
Standard Truflex and PowerRated V-belts may not fit applications like OEM originals.  Standard V-belts may be too short to easily install or too long, resulting in adjustment pulleys moving to the end of their travel and not able to apply sufficient belt installation tension.  The position of spring loaded tensioning pulleys may also change, resulting in an increase of decrease in the proper belt tension.

PowerRated For Increased Robustness
Identically sized PowerRated V-belts can sometimes be used in place of Truflex V-belts for added load capacity and robustness.  This can sometimes improve belt service life when Truflex V-belt performance is less than desired.  Truflex V-belts should generally not be substituted for PowerRated V-belts, though.

Interchanging with Industrial V-belts
Identically sized Industrial A-Section and B-Section V-belts can sometimes be used in place of Truflex V-belts for added load capacity and durability.  Note, however, that small sheave diameters often used in these applications may be too small for solid banded A-Section and B-Section V-belts.  AX-Section and BX-Section (notched) V-belts are more flexible and tolerant of small sheave diameters, so may perform better.

Identifying correct replacement belts for equipment can be challenging.  We recommend that you consult original equipment manufacturers first for the best replacement.  Then consider the functionality needed by the belt in selecting V-belts from our standard product lines.  Contact Gates Product Application Engineering for further information at 303.744.5800 or

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