Synchronous belt drives are often used in high speed applications even though V-belt drives are typically better suited. They are often used because of their positive driving characteristic (no creep or slip), and because they require minimal maintenance (minimal stretch). A significant drawback of high speed synchronous drives is drive noise. High speed synchronous drives will nearly always produce more noise than V-belt drives. Small pitch synchronous drives operating at speeds in excess of 1300 ft/min (6.6 m/s) are considered to be high speed.
Special considerations should be given to high speed drive designs, as a number of factors can significantly influence belt performance. Cord fatigue and belt tooth wear are the two most significant factors that must be controlled to ensure success. Moderate sprocket diameters should be used to reduce the rate of cord flex fatigue. Designing with a smaller pitch belt will often provide better cord flex fatigue characteristics than a larger pitch belt. PowerGrip GT2 is especially well suited for high speed drives because of its excellent belt tooth entry/exit characteristics. Smooth interaction between the belt tooth and sprocket groove minimizes wear and noise. Belt installation tension is especially critical with high speed drives. Low belt tension allows the belt to ride out of the driven sprocket resulting in rapid belt tooth and sprocket groove wear.