Belts will fail. That’s a fact of operating machinery. Unfortunately, belts seem to fail at the worst possible times! You know how it goes. Your machines are humming smoothly on a time-sensitive project. The work is progressing. Then a belt tears. The hum subsides to a sickening silence. And without that one belt, the whole project stops.
What can you do to maximize the life of your belts? Here are a few factors to consider.
- Handle belts correctly. Don’t twist or bend belts when handling them. Don’t force a belt onto a pulley. It is better to remove a pulley so the belt can be installed without stressing it. Experts recommend that when replacing one belt on a drive, you also replace the other belts on the drive, even if they don’t appear to need replacement. This helps the new belts to each last longer.
- Properly align drive pulleys. Not only will misaligned pulleys increase machine vibration and poor performance, but misalignment also increases wear on both pulleys and belts. Parallel misalignment occurs when pulley shafts are parallel to each other but the pulleys are not in the same plane. Angular misalignment occurs when the pulleys are in the same plane by their shafts are not parallel. Either type of misalignment is hard on your belts.
- Ensure proper belt tension. Belt cracking, breaking, hardening, or squealing could be signs of improper belt tension. Proper belt tension is also important to prevent pulley and bearing wear on your machinery as well as over amperage of your motors.
- Keep belts operating cooly. Temperature extremes break down belts making them brittle and vulnerable to breaking. Belts should operate at less than 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit). Proper ventilation is essential to belt life since it helps to dissipate heat.
- Keep a spare belt on hand. Yes, we know a spare won’t keep your belt from breaking but it will keep you from breaking out in a cold sweat because your project has been derailed!
Bottom line: Aptico Supply has your back (and your drive belts, too!). We’re industry experts with years of experience working with belts, pulleys, and electric motors. With our large inventory and delivery vans, we’re on the way with the supplies you need to maintain your production schedule!