Temperature Limits for Drive Belts

From the Infraspection Institute May 2015 Newsletter

Standard for IR Inspection of Electrical Systems & Rotating Equipment
Standard for IR Inspection of Electrical Systems & Rotating Equipment

Online  —  Overhead drive belts are an integral component on many types of machines. Despite the critical role they play in machine operation, V type drive belts tend to out-of-sight and out-of-mind until they fail.

In most installations, belt temperature largely influences the life installed V belts

As a rule of thumb, properly applied and maintained belts should not exceed 140 ºF (60 ºC), assuming an ambient temperature of less than 110 ºF (43 ºC).

It should be noted that belt life can be greatly reduced by higher operating temperature. In fact, for every 18 ºF (10 ºC) increase in belt temperature, belt life is cut in half

There are many factors that contribute to high belt operating temperature including, but not limited to:

  • ambient air temperature,
  • machine design,
  • installation,
  • alignment, and
  • belt tension.

Overheating belts can be readily detected with an infrared imager. Once detected, overheating belts should be investigated for cause and proper corrective measures undertaken as soon as possible.

Doing so can help prevent unscheduled downtime and may prolong belt life.

A comprehensive list of temperature limits for electrical and mechanical equipment may be found in the Standard for Infrared Inspection of Electrical Systems and Rotating Equipment.

Copies of this standard and others like it may be purchased through the Infraspection Online Store .

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