Flat belts are used in power transmission and conveying systems. They are noted for their power transmission efficiency, cost effectiveness and ease of installation and use. Typical applications include conveyors, compressors, machine tools, and other heavy industrial equipment.

When comparing flat belt drives to V-belt drives, there are advantages to using flat belts.  The small bending cross-section of the flat belt causes little bending loss. This fact, coupled with even running and the absence of pulley wedge effects, leads to higher flat belt efficiency.  The maximum possible efficiency attained by flat belts is 98%.   The gain in efficiency also leads to corresponding savings in energy compared to V-belt a fact that has been proven during practical trials.  Service life may also be better for flat belt drives.  In flat belt drives, the belt is frictionally engaged on the outer pulley diameter, not on the lateral wedge surfaces as in the case of the 'V' belt drive as a result the wear on the belts and pulleys are less in flat belts. Also, if several 'V' belts run on one drive, they wear unevenly due to production allowances.   V-Belts are often tensioned haphazardly i.e., until the individual belts no longer wobble, flat belts can be installed very simply and securely. Belts are tensioned to the calculated initial tension by means of simple measuring marks to be applied to the belt.

Flat belts are manufactured using widely varying components and designs.  Materials used in the design of flat belts may include aramid, rubber, cotton or canvas, EPDM, steel, and urethane, among others. The material in use can greatly affect the performance of the belting system and help to determine the types of applications with which it should be used. The properties of various rubber materials may be sensitive to temperature or other extreme operating environments, which may change the characteristics of the material. 

Flat belts generally have a traction layer made of oriented polyamide with two covers of elastomer leather or textiles material and one intermediate layer of fabric on each side. The traction layer absorbs the forces exerted on the belt when power is transmitted. The friction cover ensures that the peripheral force acting on the belt pulleys is transmitted to the belt and vice-versa.

Flat belts may be customized for a wide range of applications.  Such configurations include an incline to carry product to another level.  Flat belts may also have a tracking sleeve under the system to ensure that the belt does not slip, or that the coefficient of friction can be adjusted to prevent slippage. 


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