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V-Belt Failures: Common Causes and Solutions


V-belts are some of the most common components in industrial machinery, with belts suppliers like Yorkshire’s YB Components providing them to all kinds of industries all over the UK and the rest of the world.

They are also one of the most problematic machinery components with a variety of ways they can be damaged and impede performance. Here we look at some of the most common causes of v-belt failures and how to avoid them.

Slipping V-Belt

Slipping belts are often caused by damaged or worn pulleys or incorrect tensioning. A wrong belt cross-section or type will also cause industrial v-belts to slip, as will excessive oil, grease or other fluid or moisture on the pulley.

The solutions include checking the wear and tear of the pulleys as well as ensuring the belt tension is correct for the application. Also make sure you only use enough oil or grease to properly lubricate the pulleys and no more.

Split Belt Cover

Incorrect tension is by far the most common cause for splits in belt covers, although they can also be caused by foreign objects in the pulley grooves.

The solution is obviously to check there are no foreign objects in the pulley grooves as well as ensuring you have tensioned the belt correctly.

Cogs Missing Teeth

Cogs missing teeth can cause belts to fail, so any v-belts with missing cog teeth should be replaced immediately. Usually a toothed belt will lose cog teeth due to being too small for the application or from being misaligned. They could also lose teeth due to operating in excessive heat, or from simply being stored incorrectly.

The solution is to ensure all inactive belts are stored correctly, and that active belts are aligned and the right size for the application. If the problem is excessive heat, then replace your failing belt with one designed to be operated in high temperatures.

Sudden Sidewall Damage

Some kind of wear and tear to the side wall is normal over time, but if it happens quickly then there is a problem. Usually the cause will be worn or damaged pulleys, but there are a number of other possible causes. Extreme temperatures and excessive lubrication can also contribute to sudden damage of the sidewall.

The solution involves checking pulleys are in good working order regularly, and even consider replacing them every time you change belts. Look out for any shiny areas on the sidewall, as this is in an indication that it needs replacing.

Back Cover Damage

Wear and tear on the v-belt’s back cover often happens when the belt is forced on to the pulley. There could also be tension retention issues which aggravate the back cover.

The solution involves ensuring the tensioning is correct, and that they have been installed correctly. Part of installing them correctly is ensuring you have the right size belt for the pulley, so that it fits into place easily and does need to be forced.

If you require any variable speed belts, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading belts supplier in Yorkshire.