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

Overhung Load for Belt Drive Systems with Speed Reducers

Monday, September 28, 2015

posted by Michelle at 1:42 PM

Overhung load (OHL) is a force exerted perpendicular to a shaft beyond the outermost bearing.

When that force exceeds the equipment's rated capacity, shafts and bearings become overloaded and fatigue more quickly.  For this reason, speed reducer manufacturers publish OHL ratings.

When designing or retrofitting a belt drive attached to a speed reducer, designers should review the load against published OHL limits to ensure drive success. Manufacturers use different formulas and ratings, so it is important to get information directly from the speed reducer manufacturer.

If the OHL is too high, the belt drive should be redesigned to reduce the load. Some general design guidelines include:
  • Selecting larger diameter sprockets
  • Minimizing the belt width
  • Mounting the sprockets as close as possible to the outermost bearing
Once the drive is redesigned, the OHL calculations should be rerun to ensure that the load falls within the speed reducer manufacturer’s published limits.

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