Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Balance and Rim Speeds

Gates stock sprockets and sheaves are all given a static balance up to 6500 feet per minute.  This number is a rim speed, not an RPM.  The maximum RPM a particular sprocket or sheave can achieve is also affected by it's diameter.  The larger the diameter, the higher the rim speed, and if you exceed the 6500 ft/min limit, you need dynamic balancing to the particular speed you are trying to achieve.  Dynamic balancing is not a stock offering, but Gates does have a department called Made To Order Metals that can help you source specialty balanced metal.  You can get a hold of MTO Metals by phone at 1-800-709-6001, or by email at

Not sure what your rim speed is?  Use our free design software to have it calculated, or the equations below.

Here's what you need:

Diameter (inches)

First  calculate perimeter (inches): Pi * Diameter or 2 * Pi * Radius

Then calculate rim speed (feet per minute): Perimeter * RPM / 12

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