# Belt and Pulley Drives: Types of belt in belt drives

### Belt and Pulley Drives:

The belt drives are frictional drives that transmit mechanical energy on a dry surface from one shaft to another in a pulley-like system. An instance of a belt drive is shown in the image below.

For the belt drive to work properly, both sides of the shaft must be dry and separated by some distance.

Note: Either shafts (also referred to as the pulleys) on which the belt drives are attached do not necessarily need to rotate at the same speed; neither must they be of the same size.

The tension between both sides of the belt will depend heavily on the angle of contact. To this end, the tight side of the belt drive is always below while the slack (or loose) side stays above. They are shown in the image below.

The area of belt having a lesser tension (less tightly stretched) is generally referred to as the slack side while that having a higher tension (more tightly stretched) is termed the tight side. You can think of tension as the level of tightness at which something is stretched.

In belt drives, mechanical power is usually transmitted from the driving pulley to the driven pulley via a rotational motion. Since belt drives are used in conjunction with pulleys, some of the mechanisms or machines that utilizes belt drives include:

• Pepper grinder

• Sewing machines

• Industrial generators

• Car engines

• Turntables (or record players)

• Washing machines

• Textile machines

### Types of belt in belt drives

The belts used in machines utilizing the belt drive system can be of the following types:

1. Flat Belts: These belts are somewhat rectangular in shape; and they bring about rotational movement over long distances; and with a very low noise. The flat belts have an efficiency of about 98%.

2. Vee Belts: They are used with grooved pulleys and can allow for high speed and rotation. They are relatively common because of their low cost and numerous size ranges.
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3. Circular Belts: These belts are circular in shape. They can also be used with the grooved pulleys.

4. Cylindrical Belts: These belts are looped and flat. They are often used in milling machines.

Materials used in making the various kinds of belt drives include rubber, plastic, fabric, leather and other synthetic materials.

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