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V-Belts Installation and Maintenance Guide


The installation of a variable speed belt, such as those available through a v-belts supplier like Yorkshire’s YB Components, begins with a program of preventative maintenance. The program includes taking the proper safety measures before installation to ensure operational safety as well as maximising productivity and the lifecycle of the variable speed belts and associated equipment.

Most power transmission drive problems will be down to incorrect installation and maintenance, so getting it right is crucial.

Pre-emptive V-Belt Safety Measures

The first thing to check is that any variable speed belts to be installed are the correct type for the application. You can contact machinery parts experts like such a v-belts supplier to confirm which part matches with which application.

Once you definitely have the suitable v-belt for the application, ensure all power to the drive is switched-off before attempting any installation. If the power can be locked out, then do so; though do try and start-up the drive afterwards to make sure it is completely switched-off. If you cannot lock out the power, then be sure to place a sign warning co-workers not to operate the application.

You should also use belt guards to prevent any body parts from making contact with any of the drive components, and always wear gloves that are sufficiently thick to protect your hands from hot surfaces and sharp edges.

Make sure the area around the drive is free of debris, and map out where the dangerous pinch points are where fingers can get caught and injured. Pinch points to particularly look out for will be where the belt enters a sprocket or sheave.

V-Belt Installation

Assuming the pulleys are already correctly installed and aligned, you can now safely install the v-belts. Suppliers like Yorkshire’s YB Components will often recommend to move the drive unit in order to create enough slack so the belts slips onto the pulleys without requiring any force.

Installing the belts this way lets you avoid the common mistake of using an inappropriate tool to force the belt onto the drive, which can damage the fabric and even compromise the load-bearing cords inside the belt fabric.

V-Belt Tensioning

Once the belt is correctly installed on the pulley, you will need to adjust the tension so the application can produce an optimal performance and maximise its lifecycle and operational efficiency.

Poorly tensioned v-belts are at serious risk of premature belt failure. An under-tensioned belt will slip and overheat, produce excessive noise and wear and tear on the pulley, as well as minimising the efficiency of the power transmission itself. An over-tensioned belt will prematurely wear out the bearings and shafts.

A good rule of thumb is to think of proper tension as the lowest tension at which the belt doesn’t slip or jump teeth while performing at maximum operational capacity. If you are not experienced at correctly tensioning a v-belt, then you can use a tension tester gauge to identify the ideal tension for your variable speed belt application.

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