Improve V-Belt Drive Performance
Figure 13. Belt rib runs outside the sheave
Broken or damaged sheaves and severe sheave groove wear are also problems that impact V-belt life. It seems improbable that a rubber V-belt could wear out a metal sheave, but it is a fact. Many users replace V-belts several times without bothering to check the sheaves for wear.
Signs of sheave wear include groove sidewall cupping and/or a polished groove sidewall with ridges. Use a sheave gauge to detect excessive sheave groove wear, and replace sheaves immediately when worn.
A broken or damaged sheave also decreases belt life. Sheave damage could result from incorrect installation, such as over tightening the bushing bolts, or the belt may have been pried onto the sheave, causing the damage. Another probable cause of sheave damage is debris falling into the drive. Install a drive guard to avoid debris in the drive.
Also inspect other drive components, such as shafts and bearings, for signs of unusual wear. Bent or broken shafts and over-heated bearings can point to a problem with the V-belt drive.
Analysis and Maintenance Pay Off
It pays to inspect V-belt drive systems on a regular basis. If V-belts require frequent replacement (every few weeks or months), take time to analyze the belts and sheaves. They can indicate whether the drive system is functioning properly. The reward is a better-performing, longer-lasting drive.
Upstream Pumping Solutions, Winter 2012