Manufacturer of application-specific fluid power and power transmission solutions Gates Industrial Europe has released the Gates PowerGrip GT4 –a newly designed ethylene elastomer (EE) high-torque synchronous belt for the industrial and mining sectors.
Many of the elastomer synchronous belts currently on the market are made using chloroprene – a material that has performance limitations. The PowerGrip GT4 belt construction replaces chloroprene with a special EE formulation that delivers a much higher performance, says Gates regional sales manager sub-Saharan Africa Louis Matthysen.
“The company pioneered EE technology with its line of Micro V belts in automotive markets and applied that materials science technology to the PowerGrip GT4 for use in industrial markets. It has the highest power-carrying capacity in the segment, a larger temperature range and improved chemical resistance,” he says.
The belt has been installed at mines throughout Africa, specifically mines in Zambia, Nigeria, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia, boasts Matthysen.
The improved performance characteristics also support additional market opportunities with the conversion of roller chain to belt drive solutions, allowing for a transformation from a high-maintenance chain to a high-performance belt and, in turn, narrower drives and a broader range of applications to be served.
For machine builders, this creates design flexibility and improves the ability to fit a belt drive into smaller spaces or use more torque.
“PowerGrip GT4 extends the success we’ve had with the PowerGrip family over many years by upping the performance bar,” enthuses Gates chief marketing officer and product line management senior VP Tom Pitstick.
“It’s right at home in heavy-duty industrial environments and mines, driving pumps, conveyor systems and other machinery where efficiency, reliability and high quality are required. “PowerGrip GT4 belts eliminate the need for lubrication and maintenance, run quietly and reduce contamination risks.”
Other synchronous belts, such as the polyurethane chain belt drives, unique to Gates, are made with carbon-fibre tensile cord and an antifriction nylon-tooth surface. The advanced materials used in the construction result in the belts not requiring any maintenance, aside from simply greasing the bearings, adds Matthysen.
“The poly chain carbon VOLT belt is the only belt on the market that meets ISO 9563 – which specifies the maximum and minimum electrical resistance of antistatic endless and open-ended synchronous belts – over the ±25 000 working hours life span of the belt. Its patented static-conductive jacket construction transfers static electricity safely to carbon tensile cords, away from the driven side of the application, making it the safest and strongest option for applications in explosible environments,” illustrates Matthysen.
In mining applications, it is ideal to switch from gearboxes to belts, as synchronous belts are more compact and gearboxes require lubrication, whereas synchronous belts do not. However, such a switch requires a suitable power and torque ratio, he concludes.