How to inspect sheave grooves in a V belt

One of the mayor advantages that V belt systems has is that they are one of the most silent, effective and long lasting transmission systems while at the same time are one of the ones that requires the least maintenance.

A proper inspection during the service will ensure the efficiency of the system. In other blogs we have mentioned the impact that alignment and tension among other factors may have on a V Belt system but we have talk very little about the condition of the Sheave grooves and how we can determine if we have a problem there that needs our attention.


Signs of Worn Groves

  • Systems with more than one belt: differential driving, which is the event were one or more belts run lower in the drive than the others or where some of the belts run slack while others have the proper tension, creating premature wearing in some of the belts and also a reduced performance.


  • Shinny groove at the bottom of the sheave or at the bottom of the belt could indicate that the belt or the sheave are very worn. This situation is called bottoming and this will immediately affect the efficiency of the system and the durability of the belts.


With the use of a sheave gauge it is possible to find out if it is time to replace the sheave. In order to maintain efficiency sheaves should be replaced once 1/32 of wear is visible.



Impact in efficiency of worn sheaves

Some of the main cost related to excessive worn of sheaves are the cost of operation. A 5% loss in efficiency due to belt slippage of a 30 HP drive that operates 7 days a week 24/7 at 12 cents a kilowatt hour translated to an excess of $ 1,173 more a year.