Here is a quick transmission belt guide to help you decide between flat, variable speed and ribbed transmission belts.
Flat Transmission Belts
A flat transmission belt will usually be made of rubber or synthetic polymer and will be joined at both its ends to create an endless loop. Like all belts, they transmit a mechanical force from one pulley to another pulley, though they differ by having a very high optimal efficiency of 98%. This efficiency is significantly greater than the other belts described below, though this only really counts for lighter loads. They are often employed in large pulleys where wide and flat belts are able to produce more power at higher speeds.
Flat transmission belts also tend to operate more quietly than other belt types, and generally last longer. Another advantage of flat transmission belts is that a large centre distance is possible, though there is a risk of pulley displacement and they can sometimes slide across the face of the pulley while operating with heavy loads.
Variable Speed Belts
As a v belts supplier, Yorkshire based YB Components know that variable speed belts are the most commonly used power transmission belts. This is because they can transmit significantly more power than flat belts can with the same amount of tension. They are used in variable speed drives as they provide an excellent combination of traction and speed, as well as having a heavier load bearing ability.
V-belts are often made of rubber or synthetic polymer, though some designs feature special fibres added into the rubber or polymer which increases their strength. The fibres can be made from a variety of materials depending on how strong the variable speed belt is intended to be. Lower strength fibre material includes the likes of cotton and nylon, while steel or aramid fibres are added to maximise the strength of the belt.
The purpose of the V-shape in the belt is to prevent slipping and improve the torque transmission, achieved by the V-shaped section following a groove in the pulley. They are usually a lot less wide than flat transmission belts, taking up less space but producing the same and often more power. Their smaller size also enables two variable speed belts to be used side by side in some applications, known as a multi-belt drive.
Ribbed Transmission Belts
Ribbed belts can also be acquired through a transmission belts supplier; Yorkshire’s YB Components stock many such belts. The ribbing in ribbed belts runs lengthwise to increase the amount of contact between the belt and the pulley in order to evenly distribute the tension.
Ribbed transmission belts have a wide power range capacity, including very large transmission ratios. They are fairly quiet and very reliable belts, usually lasting a long time while providing a consistently stable amount of tension.
Vehicles often use ribbed belts as drive belts, and they are also frequently used in washing machines and tumble dryers, as well as concrete mixers and compressors.
If you require variable speed belts or any other transmission belts, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s transmission belts suppliers in Yorkshire.