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Correct Methods of Belt Installation and Alignment

Posted on by Matt Passannante

Proper belt tension is critical to performance. If your belts do not have adequate tension, slippage can occur, which causes premature wearing of the belts, sheaves, or sprockets. Proper alignment is also essential for maximizing your belt drive’s lifespan. V-belt and synchronous belt drives are frequently used to transmit torque and change speeds from a driver, such as the electric motor, to your driver equipment.

If your belt needs alignment, the experts at Kurz will help you out. Before you start, make sure that you are using personal protective equipment and have all the necessary tools.

Performing an Alignment

First, install whatever sheave and bushing are most difficult to adjust. Typically that is the largest sheave. Be sure to install the sheaves as close as you can to the equipment, which in turn reduces overhung load.

Second, install the other bushing and sheave so that the sheave’s position can be adjusted as necessary.

Third, you will want to adjust center distance as needed, then adjust center distance outwards to the approximate final distance.

Types of Alignments

There are two ways to align belt drives. The first uses a straight edge. You can also align belt drives with a laser alignment.

Straight Edge Alignment

The straight edge alignment technique can correct multiple types of misalignment. Typically, misalignment occurs in one of two types, which is either parallel or angular. Angular misalignment happens if a sheave becomes rotated. This creates an angle between the center lines of each sheave. Parallel misalignment, on the other hand, happens if the sheaves become offset from one another. This creates a physical gap between the centerlines on both sheaves.

In order to correct either type of misalignment, you can use the same general techniques. First, you will need to adjust the sheave that is loosely installed or the associated connected equipment. Continue adjusting the sheave until all four of its points make contact with the straight edge. Once you have achieved proper alignment, you will want to tighten the bushing that’s remaining to the right torque value. Alignment is complete.

Laser Alignment

Laser alignment is generally more accurate than using the straight edge alignment method.

The laser alignment tool has two parts. One is the laser beam itself, and the other is a component that points the laser towards its origin. To start, you will want to put the laser alignment device on the exterior face of the driver and driven sheaves. Position the two devices so that the device emitting the laser points towards the reflective mirror. In order to correct for angular and parallel misalignment, you will want to adjust the loosely installed sheave and the connected equipment until you can see the laser beam in the centerline of both devices. Once they are aligned, tighten the remaining bushing to the correct torque value. The alignment is complete, and the belt can now be tensioned.

Contact Kurz for questions or additional information today.

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