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New directions for machinery reliability training, products and services!

Belt Tensioning Procedure




1. Install all belts on the drive.

2. Tighten the belts to a preliminary amount of tension until they have a live, springy feel when they
are pushed down.

3. Measure the belt span to the nearest inch. Belt span is the distance between the points where the
belt first touches each sheave.

4. Use the spring scale or belt tension device to apply a perpendicular force to the mid-point of the
span until it is deflected 1/64" for each inch of span. Use the top of the adjacent belt or a straight
edge as a guide in measuring deflection. For example, a belt with a span of 64 inches should be
deflected one inch; a belt with a span of 32 inches should be deflected half an inch (32/64).

5. Read the scale and compare the force required to deflect the belt the required amount with the
maximum force as recommended by the manufacturer for the particular belt and application.

6. If the force is less than the manufacturer's recommended maximum, there is not enough tension
on the belt; if the deflection force is greater than the manufacturer's maximum recommendation,
there is too much tension on the belt.

7. Either shorten or lengthen the distance between the sheaves to adjust the tension.
8. Check the alignment again.

9. Belts stretch most during the first 24 hours of operation. If belt squeal or other signs of stretch are
observed, the drive should be stopped to retention the belts. Belt dressing should never be used to
quiet a slipping belt

10. After 24 hours, even if there are no obvious signs of belt stretch stop the drive and retention the
belts.

11. After 72 hours of operation, stop the drive and check the tension again, retention the belts if
necessary, check alignment.
Copyright 2002 by Universal Technologies, Inc. M-113
25797 Conifer Road #210 Aspen Park, CO 80433 USA Tel: 303-838-3447 Fax: 303-838-3437 www.unitechinc.com


New directions for machinery reliability training, products and services!
Belt Tensioning Procedure

Force-deflection Table Interpretation

The first column generally indicates the belt cross-section: A, 5V, and so on.
Find the row in the second and third columns that correspond to the diameter and speed of the
small sheave.
Because there is a direct relationship between sheave speed and sheave size, the drive ratio range
can be determined from the sizes of the sheaves. To determine drive ratio, divide the large sheave
diameter by the small sheave diameter.
Each of the last four columns lists maximum deflection force for particular drive ratios.
To calculate the deflection force required tensioning a banded belt, multiply the tension given in
the table by the number of bands.











Copyright 2002 by Universal Technologies, Inc. M-113
25797 Conifer Road #210 Aspen Park, CO 80433 USA Tel: 303-838-3447 Fax: 303-838-3437 www.unitechinc.com