Mechanical belt drives can offer lateral and longitudinal stability, increased efficiency, and technical simplicity. However, if installed incorrectly or in an unsafe working environment, belt drives can suffer inaccurate timing problems or shortened lifespans.
Correcting these issues can require extensive repairs and even premature part replacement. Taking necessary precautions and preemptive measures to ensure a safe mechanical belt working environment from the start can reduce the likelihood that such issues will arise.
Belt Corporation of America recently teamed up with Engineering.com to discuss the catalysts behind typical belt problems and some solutions for addressing such complications. The resulting article, recently featured on Engineering.com, highlights three recommended solutions to belt failures:
- Heat Failure: Check for initial warning signs related to heat problems, a main cause of belt failure. Caused by friction or external heating, these signs can include tooth wear, edge wear, and stretch wear. Once the type of wear is identified, a change in belt material can correct the heating issue.
- Travelling Failure: To restrict a belt from traveling to one side or another, a dual-cord system, comprised of two cords wound in opposite directions, can reduce the belt’s movement.
- Design Failure: To correct problems caused by a belt being used beyond its original design or intended application, consult a professional who could provide the best guidance to adjusting the design for updated usage.
Belt drives are worth an investment because they can offer users a broad range of benefits for manufacturing processes including cost-efficiency, streamlined performance, and long lifespans, resulting in a safer work environment when proper maintenance is ensured. To avoid belt failure, operating equipment within design parameters and performing preventative maintenance is essential.
For more information on preventative maintenance for your belt drives, please visit Engineering.com to read the full article.
Thermoplastic polyester elastomers (TPE) became available to consumers in the late 1970s. This type of plastic has a great advantage over other materials as it can stretch to moderate elongations and return to near its original shape, and be processed as a melt at an elevated temperature with little to no significant creep. Hytrel® is the registered trademark name for the DuPont™ brand of TPE. It combines many desirable characteristics of this high-performance elastomer. Such as an excellent flex fatigue rating, broad temperature use, resistance to tearing, flex cut growth and abrasion, resistance to hydrocarbons and many other fluids, while being available in a full range of Shore D hardness.
It is an all-in-one thermoplastic and elastomer
Hytrel® provides the flexibility of rubbers with the strength of plastic. Its excellent crossover properties allow it to be used for any number of applications. Especially those applications where durability and mechanical strength are required for a flexible product, such as seals, belts, bushings, diaphragms, etc. With Hytrel®, parts that previously required multiple composite assemblies can now be made with a single material.
Hytrel® has a great ability to resist permanent deterioration over numerous stress cycles. As a piece of material is flexed and relaxed it begins to deteriorate due to thermal and mechanical stresses. Flex Fatigue is measured by using a fixed cantilevered system capable of producing a highly repeatable force on a test specimen. The force is repeated again and again and counted, when the material fails, the number of cycles is measured to determine its flex fatigue characteristic.
Broad Temperature Uses
Hytrel® polymers have outstanding thermal properties, especially with respect to material stability. The melt of the product under normal conditions produces almost no gas by-products. The stability of Hytrel®’s chemically pure polymer, with no additional plasticizers, minimizes viscosity issues during injection processes.
Tear resistance with flex cut growth and abrasion
Hytrel® combines a crystalline phase – thermoplastic matrix, which makes it rubbery, with an amorphous phase, elastomeric characteristic. By varying the percentage of each phase within the recipe, Hytrel® can be made to be very resistant to specific physical stresses, such as tearing, flex cut growth and abrasion.
Resistance to hydrocarbons and many other fluids
Hytrel® is highly resistant to non-polar materials, such as toluene, gasoline, and other hydrocarbons. This resistance is excellent even at elevated temperatures. However, polar materials, such as water and Hydrogen and Hydrogen Sulfide, will have severe effects on Hytrel® at elevated temperatures. Generally speaking, the stiffer the grade of Hytrel®, the more fluid resistant it becomes. It is important to predetermine the environment within which the Hytrel® will be used. Higher temperature more chemically resistant Hytrel® variants are usually the hardest or stiffest grades, whereas softer Hytrel® variants usually work better in low-temperature environments.
Shore D Hardness
The Shore D (Durometer) Hardness Scale is a measure of the hardness of hard rubbers and elastomers, as well as softer plastics. Hytrel®’s versatility is due in part to is availability in a wide range of Shore D Hardness ratings. The Shore D Hardness method is used to determine the material’s resistance to indentations and provides empirical hardness values. The Shore D hardness scale covers materials as soft as auto radiator hoses to as hard as kitchen laminate counters. However, these values do not correlate with other fundamental characteristics of the material so are useful for unique instances only. There are other scales that measure hardness for different materials and blends, like the Shore A Scale. There is some overlap between these scales, for example, material that measures 45D on one scale will measure 95A on the other. However, direct correlations between scales are unreliable.
Hytrel® is ideal for fixed belt drive applications:
One application in the belt industry for which it is ideal is that of fixed center drives. A fixed center drive is an option for production or assembly belt drive system. Its main attributes are its simplicity and its reduced hardware expense and component requirements.
A fixed center drive design uses a synchronous drive system due to its tooth engagement mechanism. Other belt systems may rely on friction and tension to transmit power. Hytrel® TPE is an ideal material for this type of belt drive as it can handle the extreme physical and thermal stresses of being continuously driven with little wear and deformation. Hytrel® also comes in such a large variety of materials that one form or another of it can be used in almost any belt drive.
Think Hytrel® might be right for your belt?
No one understands the complexity of synchronous belts like Belt Corporation’s belt engineers. That is why our experts have compiled a thorough and detailed Synchronous Belt Availability Guide for our customers.
This helpful guide provides assistance for selecting the exact belt, by company, that meets the requirements of your specific project. The guide includes all the synchronous belts available from Belt Corporation of America. The guide includes an exhaustive list indexed by factors such as brand name, polymer type, and also pitch.
We offer synchronous belts from a variety of companies in the industry. These include:
- Jason Industrial
If you are in the market for the highest-quality synchronous belts, at the best prices from most brand names, Belt Corporation of America has you covered.
To download our free Synchronous Belt Availability Guide, please visit our website. If you have questions about the rest of our amazing line of belts, contact one of our experts today.