V-belts are among the most-used type of belting in the modern industrial world. Designed to help transmit the maximum amount of torque and power in a pulley system, these components are at the core of any industrial process. However, like there are several types of conveyor belt materials, there are also a few different kinds of v-belts to choose from on the market. Rubber and Kevlar are the two most prevalent v-belts available, and it’s vital that you know more about them if you’re going to make the right choice. Read on to learn what you need to know about rubber and Kevlar v-belts and how to best go about deciding between them.
Explaining the Function of V-Belts
Before we discuss the materials in question, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how v-belts work. As briefly mentioned before, this flexible machine component’s primary purpose is to facilitate the optimal transmission of power between a set of pulley systems. Their trapezoid-shaped body allows them to snuggly fit in the grooves of a pulley or sheave, making it easier for them to generate friction and torque. This, then, helps a piece of machinery run most effectively over long periods of time and minimize part slippage.
To start off, rubber v-belts are the standard for most industrial needs. This flexible material makes up the core of the belt, providing it with the elasticity needed to bounce back from incredible tension and force. This, layered with steel tension cords and lined with a fabric cover, make one of the strongest general-use belts you can have. Here’s some additional information to know about this type of v-belt.
Since rubber v-belts have the classification of an “industry standard” belt, their applications most often align with industrial procedures. This includes running lathes, light-duty milling machines, drills, and power tools. For these uses, the belt’s core function is the transfer of power between driver pulleys. So, it will often work in its own isolated system, free from external forces. This ensures optimal performance and helps preserve the component for longer.
Rubber v-belts have a large amount of base tensile strength and flexibility. This is what ultimately allows them to have such a diverse range of applications. Because they can suit a series of different machines, they’re a great product to fall back on for any general needs. It’s also important to note that their soft, malleable nature makes them pliable enough to prevent sticking. This means that you should never need to lubricate these belts to keep them performing at optimal levels. Additionally, they’re cheap to purchase, making them an easy component to place given little notice.
However, it’s important to understand that while rubber v-belts have incredible tensile strength, this isn’t true for their outer casing. These parts aren’t as well insulated from strenuous environmental conditions. So, if they’re exposed to extreme temperatures or acted on by a force outside of the pulley system, they’ll likely experience quick deterioration and break. Because of this, they’re not the best choice for harsher working conditions or tougher pieces of equipment.
Kevlar v-belts, on the other hand, have a core comprised of high-strength synthetic fibers that offer a greater number of tensile capabilities and resistances to harmful conditions. Kevlar is an increasingly popular material in several different industries because of these characteristics. They’ve even found uses in manufacturing clothing, tires, and personal protection equipment items. Here’s a bit more you should know.
Due to the higher tensile and rim strength of Kevlar, these belts are some of the best for withstanding the force of an idler pulley system. In these setups, a third pulley pushes along the outer band of the belt, creating more tension and promoting additional force transfer. For this reason, they’re highly compatible with any system that uses this component. This could include high-powered machines like mowers and snow blowers.
To reiterate, Kevlar v-belts have much great strength characteristics than many other types of belts. This makes them the best choice for applications involving stressful conditions. Because of this additional durability, they’re likely to last much longer and make for a great investment over time. They’re also resistant to shock and reverse bending, making them one of the most diverse belts on the market.
Make sure you’re aware though that while Kevlar belts are strong, they’re also often more expensive to properly compensate. They’ll be a larger investment outright to balance out their longevity, which isn’t always necessary in general applications. These belts also aren’t anti-static, meaning that they may require some additional lubrication to prevent sticking and ensure everything continues running smoothly.
Tips for Choosing Between Them
In this piece, we’ve covered what you need to know about rubber and Kevlar v-belts. However, it wouldn’t be complete without some advice for picking between them. Both types have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, making it vital that you know which one would best suit your needs. These are a few tips to keep in mind.
Consider Your Desired Usage
Before making your final decision on a belt, make sure you understand exactly what you’re going to use it for. As we’ve discussed, rubber belts are often the better option for general applications on heavy industrial machinery and drilling equipment. Meanwhile, Kevlar models are great for high-powered devices that are exposed to harmful conditions. So, considering your application is the number one way to ensure you’re getting what you need.
Factor in Your Budget
We also recommend considering your team’s budget for new machine components. Though everything would run off a Kevlar belt in a perfect world, this isn’t always possible when it comes to their increased price tag. Mapping out how much you have to spend on these parts is the best way to determine whether you can afford to regularly replace them.
If you’re in the market for new belting components for your industrial equipment, Texas Belting and Supply is the best resource out there. From v-belts of all kinds to specialized decline and incline conveyor belts and other components, we have one of the leading collections of products. As a leading supplier, we make it a point to carry materials from hundreds of different manufacturers. This way, you always have options.