The most economical speed is somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 feet per minute. Above these values the life of the belt is shortened; also "flapping," "chasing," and centrifugal force cause considerable loss of power. The limit of speed with cast-iron pulleys is fixed at the safe limit for bursting of the rim, which may be taken at one mile per minute.

Material Of Belting

Oak-tanned leather, made from the part of the hide which covers the back of the ox, gives the best results for leather belting. The thickness of the leather varies from .18 to .25 inch. It weighs from .03 to .04 pound per cubic inch. The average thickness of double leather belts may be taken as .33 inch, although a variation in thickness from inch to 7/16 inch is not uncommon. Double leather belts may be ordered light, medium, or heavy.

In a single-thickness belt the grain or hair side should be next to the pulley, for the flesh side is the stronger and is therefore better able to resist the tensile stress due to bending set up where the belt makes and leaves contact with the pulley face. Double leather belts are made by cementing the flesh sides of two thicknesses of belt together, leaving the grain side exposed to surface wear.

Haw hide and semi-raw hide belts have a slightly higher coefficient of friction than ordinary tanned belts. They are useful in damp places. The strength of these belts is about one and one-half times that of tanned leather.

Cotton, cotton-leather, rubber, and leather link belting are some of the forms on the market, each of which is especially adapted to certain uses. For their weights and their tensile and working strengths consult the manufacturers' catalogues.

A prominent manufacturer's practice in regard to the sizes of leather belting will be found useful for comparison, and is indicated in the table on page 12.

Initial Tension In Belt

On the assumption that the sum of the tensions is unchanged, whether the belt be at rest or driving, we should have the following relation :

Tn+T0 = 2T; whence, T = (Tn+To)/2 (15)

This is not strictly true, however, as is stated in the "Analysis" of "Belts." It has been found that in a horizontal belt working at about 400 lbs. tension per square inch on the tight side, and having 2 per cent slip on cast-iron pulleys (i.e., the surface of the driven pulley moving 2 per cent slower than that of the driver), the increase of the sum of the tensions when in motion over the sum of the tensions at rest, may be taken at about 1/3 the value of the tensions at rest. Expressing this in the form of an equation:

Sizes Of Leather Belting





1 inch.

5/32 inch.

5/16 inch.

2 "

3/16 "

5/16 "

3 "

7/32 "

3/8 "

4 "

7/32 "

3/8 "

5 "

7/32 "

3/8 "

6 "

7/32 "

3/8 "

10 "

5/16 "

3/8 "

12 "

3/8 "

14 "

1 3 /12 "

20 "

7/16 "

Tn + T0 = 4/3 (2T) =8 x T / 3.

T = 3/8 (Tn + T0). (16)

The value of T thus found would be the pounds initial tension to which the belt should be pulled up when being laced, in order to produce Tn and T0 when driving.

This value is not of very great practical importance, as the proper tightness of belt is usually secured by trial, by tightening pulleys, by pulley adjustment (as in motor drives), or by shortening the belt from time to time as needed. It is worth noting, however, that for the most economical life of the belt it would be very desirable in every case to weigh the tension by a spring balance when giving the belt its initial tension. This, however, is not always easy or even feasible; hence it is a refinement with which good practice usually dispenses, except in the case of large and heavy belts.