Different Types of Timing Belts for Pulleys

Blog | November 16th, 2018

Timing belts synchronize car engines. Timing belts coordinate conveyor belts and gym treadmills. The flexible toothed bands also control sewing machines, textile equipment, and a hundred dissimilar machine systems. To keep the different camshafts and pulleys synced, engineering domains have come up with several different timing belt types. For pulley technology, there are several product parameters that need elucidation. Without further ado, we start with belt tooth profiles.

The Different Tooth Profiles 

A whole range of trapezoidal tooth shapes are used to maximize positively engaging timing belts. The alternative tooth profiles are assigned alphanumerical codifiers, which can be looked up in datasheets. Looking at one of those slotted segments, it rises and falls angularly like the ramparts of an old castle. Next on the agenda, some timing belt manufacturers have opted for curvilinear shapes, which use great arcing peaks and straight-edged furrows. Completing the three-part family, modified curvilinear teeth have straight edges, but those straight planes are softened by curving corners.

V-Belt and Synchronous Belt Differences 

Load conditions and application-specific circumstances control teeth geometry. That same truism applies to the shape of the belt. For V-shaped loops, their side-applied frictional qualities work in tandem with the distance between pairs of system pulleys to provide adequate load handling reliability. But they rely on tensioning arms, not teeth, so they’re not commonly used in timing applications. Unlike this wedging action, synchronous loops rely on low-speed, high torque operational conditions. They’re further strengthened when a high-tensile thread bonds the flexible polymer in place. Neoprene or polyurethane, carbon fibre or aluminium, the belts gain additional strength when they’re reinforced with fibreglass, nylon, or a comparably toughened thread.

Designing For Irregular Loading Conditions 

So there are different tooth profiles and belt widths. The materials are flexible, and they’re strengthened by tensile threading. Why should all of this product diversity be required in the first place? In the fewest possible words, designers plan for unique conditional stresses. Shock loads and ratcheting effects are minimized when the correct tooth shape and pitch is properly selected. Similarly, system vibrations and load-carrying duties are brought safely under control when certain design widths and material types are chosen.

A tough but flexible timing belt can replace a similarly specced chain drive. As a bonus feature, the synchronizing loop won’t corrode. Shear strength and positive positioning accuracy, plus a gift for conveying shock-prone loads, there’s a belt type for every conceivable application. To fly through the selection process, power transmitting pulleys can’t just accept any old timing belt. An engineer goes deeper, looking along extended belt selection tables, at belt widths, tooth pitches and shapes, all so that the perfect match is optioned every single time.

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