There are certain pieces of machinery that are needed by various industry sectors and businesses. However without the right parts these pieces of machinery become useless. It is down to factors such as this as to why so many different belt drives exist. Not all pieces of machinery will be able to work using the same type of belt drive, which is why various types of belt drives, such as the following, exist:
These are circular cross section belts that are designed to run on a pulley, it does this using a circular groove. The main use of this type of belt drive is within low torque situations, you can however get this belt in various lengths and if you can't find the length that you are looking for you are able to get it cut to the length you want it and then get it joined either using stapling, gluing or welding.
Flat belts are becoming a rarity in our day and age, the reason that I say this is down to the fact they are generally starting to be replaced by vee belts. The reason for this is because flat belt drives are pretty bulky meaning they require high tension leading to high loads and flat belts have a tendency to slip towards the higher side of the pulley. This isn't great considering pulleys are designed to be slightly convex in order to keep the belt centred. In our day and age these belts are now only really used when high speed is needed over power; in all other cases vee belts tend to be the belt drive of choice.
Out of the entire belt drives available it is said that timing belts need the least tension of all the belts and are considered to be the most efficient. It is these belts that usually appear within camshafts of automobiles and miniature timing systems as well as stepper motors. These belts stand for a positive transfer belt that can track relative movement. They have teeth that fit into a matching toothed pulley and when they are correctly tensioned they have no slippage and run at a constant speed also they are often used to transfer direct motion for indexing or timing purposes.
The above are just a few examples of the types of belt drives available to you; there are in fact a lot more. The type of belt that you choose comes down to a few factors such as the type of machinery that you need the belt for and in some cases personal preference. Whatever belt drive you do decide on, there are a number of advantages to belt drives in general, which are the fact no lubrication is required, maintenance is minimal and they dampen sudden shocks that could occur in loading. On top of this they are also quiet and smooth within their operation and pulleys are less expensive than chain drive sprockets and exhibit little wear over long periods of operation.
The designs of many belt drives are used to maintain friction between the belt and the pulley. They are a key product for any machinery where this could be a problem so make sure you invest in the right belt drive for your industry or business.