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

Minimizing Heat in V-belt Drives

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

posted by Michelle at 9:07 AM

The air temperature surrounding a belt drive is the ambient temperature. Operating temperature is the actual temperature of running belts. The operating temperature of belts always exceeds the ambient temperature.

Higher than recommended ambient and operating temperatures deteriorate rubber compound properties, leading to premature belt failures. However, there are ways to minimize the impact.

For high ambient temperature applications, increasing ventilation around the belt drive can help reduce belt operating temperatures. This can be accomplished by adding vents to belt guards, by adding fins to sheaves, or by providing a cooler external air source.

Belt slippage will increase operating temperature. If belt slippage is due to under-design, a re-design may be necessary to increase the capacity. If belt slippage is occurring on a properly designed drive system, the belt installation tension level may need to be increased or worn sheaves replaced.

If the heat source is within the belt drive system itself, re-designing may help. Some belt drive design tips to minimize heat generation are listed below.

  • Select belt types with a higher ambient temperature range
  • Use more belts to decrease the load per belt
  • Use larger sheave diameters to reduce belt bending stresses
  • Change to a smaller belt cross-section or use notched belts for increased flexibility

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