Posted at 24 March 2020

What's the difference between good and bad belts?

Paul Skade
By Alex Mills
Product Manager, Gears, Motors & Drives, ERIKS UK & Ireland

I joined ERIKS in 2011 after moving back to the UK following 10 years in the United States. I have an extensive background in modifying and restoring classic cars...

Read full bio

In manufacturing facilities, across the world, we've seen belts in all shapes and sizes, but contrary to some beliefs, not all belts are the same. There are several different factors that determine the quality of your V-belts.


Material strength

Material plays arguably the most important role in ensuring the quality and performance of a V-belt. The tensile cord running through the belt handles the lion's share of the duty, so physical properties are vital.

A rubber belt with a polyester cord, and one with aramid, may look the same from the exterior, but their power ratings are totally different. Therefore, dependant on the type of cord used - aramid, fibre glass, polyester - quality, length stability, power and performance will inevitable vary. The stronger the cord, raw materials and build, the better overall performance. The cheaper the cord, the higher possibility of bowing under tension.

The amount of primary material used should also be factored in. A high-performance belt manufactured from 40% EPDM, for example, will outperfrom one of 10%, with many imported versions made up of filler materials. Belts with lower EPDM content will deteriorate quicker, significantly reducing their lifecycle.

Belts such as the FennerⓇ Quattro Plus TW (twinn wrapped) have better length stability due to more highly developed tension cord technology, and improved protection against abrasion, utilising a state-of-the-art wrapped chloroprene rubber construction with a 2-ply asymmetrical weave outer jacket.

Storage conditions

Regardless of the quality of your belt, storage conditions can have a significant impact on their performance, and due diligence should be taken to ensure the correct conditions are met.  For example, if storage temperatures exceed 30°C service levels could be reduced, and under no circumstances should you store your V-belts in conditions above 46°C.

To ensure premium storage conditions, try hanging your V-belts on pegs or crescent-shaped saddles to prevent weight distribution leading to distortion.

Once out of storage, installation and maintenance processes must be undertaken correctly, or the performance and lifecycle of your belt will also be reduced.

Consistency is key

Traditionally, belt manufacture is a very manual process, and the curing process of rubber hasn't changed significantly since its invention, therefore consistency should be a very high importance.

We automatically assume that if our belts come from the same manufacturer and factory, then they all share the same properties. But that's not strictly true.

Overall quality is dependant on the experience and precision of the builder, quality of moulds, and technology used in the process. With everything factored in, the only true way of guaranteeing the best quality belts, is by choosing a reputable manufacturer and selecting a belt that is suitable for your application.

The future is 'smart belts'

Companies like ContiTech are now looking into the possibilities of improving and reducing maintenance processes by introducing new belting technologies utilising sensors that can measure key states including temperature, elongation and corrosion. Data will then be transferred to a computer, aiding in a transition from reactive to preventative maintenance.

Are you getting the most from your belts? Check out the latest ERIKS instructional video on how to assess your pulleys for wear and damage. Visit

Related Articles

Join the Conversation

Subscribe to our News, Products & Services

Latest Articles

Take a look at our latest updates...

Full steam ahead - Scottish distillery with Grundfos

Nick Lees

There’s steam and there’s high-quality steam. There are pump solutions and intelligent pump solution...

Delivering for the dairy - greater milking efficiency with ERIKS and Spirax

Nick Lees

Leaking control valves were leaving a dairy product manufacturer feeling pretty cheesed off. Fortuna...

How to Contact ERIKS

Get in Touch

Looking for a custom Product quote? Need an answer to a Technical question? Looking for Careers/HR support? Want to work with us? Interested in our Digital Trading solutions? Have a finance question? Send us your enquiry and a member of the ERIKS team will be with you quickly.

How are we doing?

We strive to deliver exceptional quality service and products. As part of this goal, we encourage customers to submit feedback on their experiences so we can resolve any issues and concerns.

Chat, call or find your local Branch

At ERIKS we strive to deliver the best quality service and products. As part of this goal we encourage customers to submit feedback on their experiences so we can resolve any issues and concerns.

Call us: +441215086000 

leslie shields