V-Belts: Measuring, Advantages & How Do They Work?

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Measuring Your V-Belt

V Belts cannot be measured by folding them in half or measuring what’s left of a snapped belt, the most accurate way to measure a V belt is with a belt length gauge a tool used by most belt stockists.
However the likely hood is that when your belt fails this type of gauge will not be in your tool box the best thing to use is a simple cloth tape measure – do not use a steel tape measure.
If neither the length gauge nor cloth tape are to hand another option is to wrap string around the belt, then measure the string length.
Depending on the type of belt the most common method of belt length measurements are;
LA/LO = Length around/Length outside – where the outside length of a belt is measured with a cloth tape measure.
LI = Length Inside: The inside length is again measured with a cloth tape measure, or sometimes a piece of string. 
LP = Length Pitch; Belt pitch length is normally the length at the belt pitch line. This line is generally located at the neutral axis near the cord line and varies with cross section and V Belt construction. 

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V- Belts –Two Questions.

A couple of questions I am often asked are…
What are the advantages of V- belts?
Large range of speeds available.
Belt drives are less expensive than chain drives for low horsepower and low ratio applications.
Belts require no lubrication.
Single belt drives will accept more misalignment than chain drives.
Belt drives will cushion shock loads.
Belts will slip when overloaded, thus preventing damage to shafts, bearings and other machine parts.
How do they work? 
V-belts transmit power by their grip on the pulley and the belt tension, the belt transmits power by friction contact between the belt and the driving and driven pulley It is therefore essential that correct tension is maintained throughout the life of the belt.
Here’s 6 tips to help you maintain tension and get the best from your V- Belt.Always tension the belt to the manufactures recommended tension.
Check the belt tension frequently during the first 24 to 48 hours of run-in operation.
Maintain pulley alignment while tensioning the drive.
Make V-belt drive inspections periodically checking belt tension.
Keep all belts free from foreign material.
Over-tension/Under- tension of belts will lead to reduced belt and bearing life.
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