What Is a V Belt Pulley?

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  • Written By: Jean Marie Asta
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2019
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A v belt pulley is any type of pulley system that uses a v belt. These kinds of belts are called v belts because the cross section of them resembles the letter “v,” with the outer edge of the belt being wider while the inside edge is more narrow. Every v belt, with the exception of Harvester and Wedge belts, has a 40 degree angle between its faces. The inside edge of a v belt is normally more outstretched at the base than the “v” shaped groove in the v belt pulley wheel, allowing the grooves in the pulley and the belt to move past each other by friction. One of the main purposes of the pulley is to accommodate users with a pulley system that is easy to assemble and replace.

The v belt pulley is widely used in automobile parts and industrial machinery because it has benefits over other transmission forms. It also provides quiet operation, simple and economical replacement, and effective grip. A v belt pulley is often made out of cast iron or steel because of its efficiency and resistance to wear. The designs and specifications can vary, since there are many different automobile parts and brand names that use pulley systems.


In automobiles and industrial machinery, expansion and contraction of the diameter of the pulley wheel in a driving shaft or driven shaft varies the pulley system’s speed ratio and torque. Variations in the diameter of all pulleys in a system can make the energy output more or less efficient. Generally, the more similar two pulleys are in measurement, the more efficient the pulley system will be. Also, v belt speed affects the pulley system’s efficiency. The more torque (rotational force) that is exerted, the more friction on the pulley belt and interference with a pulley wheel’s axial movement.

V belt pulleys that are adjustable are also available to use in automobile parts and industrial machinery. Adjustable pulleys are also readily adaptable to changing the pitch diameter of a pulley wheel by diverging the sheave, or pulley wheel, faces annularly, in the form of a ring. An adjustable pulley also includes a compressible bushing that is adapted to enclose a shaft, which locks the pulley onto the face sheaves that are bolted and clamped parallel to the sheaves’ axis. Metal washers on the bolts provide space for the sheaves so they can vary the pitch diameter where a standardized v belt pulley would run.


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