Why Proper Drive Belt Tension is Vital

V-belts and synchronous belts are used in a variety of industrial and mechanical applications. These belts need to be aligned correctly, but they also must be operated at the correct tension.

Here’s why proper drive belt tension is so important.

Performance of the drive

Equipment that relies on drive belts is designed to operate with the belt at a specific tension to achieve optimal performance. V-belts or synchronous belts that are not adjusted properly may lead to costly decreases in performance.

  • Since drive belts are often used to power devices or machine components indirectly, incorrect tension may alter the speed at which the component is operating.

The drive motor may still be turning at the correct speed, but a loose belt may result in other components turning too slowly. This performance loss may be costly if it slows production.

Maintenance of equipment

Maintenance costs are a concern for all industrial operations. Drive belts that are improperly adjusted may result in an unnecessary increase in maintenance expenses.

Belt failure is common when the tension is too high or too low. Belts that are loose may overheat and glaze or burn due to slipping. Synchronous belts that are too loose may jump and damage the teeth. Belts that are too tight may also fail prematurely due to the belt being stretched.

In either case, premature belt failure results in replacement costs for the belt and downtime for the equipment while the belt is replaced. It may also result is lost materials that are destroyed because of the equipment failure.

  • Belts that have too much tension can also cause equipment damage.
  • Bearings are one common failure point with over-tensioned belts.
  • The bearings in motors and pulleys are designed to operate at specific loads, but over-tensioning increases this load and may lead to failure.
  • A bearing failure leads to preventable downtime and replacement costs.

Seiffert Industrial has the equipment that you need to properly maintain the V-belts and synchronous belts in your shop. We offer tension meters and belt alignment systems from the top brands available today.