Gates Corporation Releases New White Paper: “How Belt Drives Impact Overhung Load”

Gates engineers provide detailed technical information about the impact load-carrying capacity has on the shafts and bearings of speed reducers attached to belt drives.

Denver, CO, July 27, 2012 --( Gates Corporation, a global, diversified manufacturer of industrial and automotive products, offers a new white paper, “How Belt Drives Impact Overhung Load.” The educational piece explains what overhung load (OHL) is, how it is calculated and the negative impact it has on shafts and bearings. The white paper also provides designers with solutions for reducing OHL and increasing belt drive efficiency and service life.

“Overhung load can be easily overlooked in new belt drive system designs and roller chain drive conversions,” said Dan Parsons, Gates product application engineer. “This white paper presents overhung load in simple terms so designers can account for it appropriately. This will improve overall system reliability and the longevity of all related drive components.”

The white paper, which can be downloaded for free from Gates Ridiculously Powerful Belts page, defines OHL as “a force exerted perpendicular to a shaft beyond the outermost bearing.” When belt drives exceed maximum OHL ratings, shafts and bearings wear out faster than normal, prompting costly downtime for replacement and maintenance.

According to the white paper, if a belt drive produces an OHL level above recommended limits, the drive needs to be re-designed using narrower belts and larger diameter sprockets mounted as close as possible to the outermost bearing on the shaft. Gates Poly Chain® GT® Carbon™ synchronous belt drives can generate low overhung loads due to their very narrow widths.

The benefits of using a narrow belt with large diameter sprockets to reduce OHL include:

· Longer belt life; increasing sprocket diameter by 10 percent can double belt life
· Reduced bearing and shaft replacements
· Less downtime for maintenance and replacement

One company, a coal fired power plant, replaced belts and bearings on its pulverizer fan three times a year. Each replacement caused an average of eight hours of downtime and required two full-time maintenance workers. Converting the fan’s 10-strand V-belt drive to a narrower 4-strand Gates Predator® V-belt drive with a longer belt service life saved the plant $3,416 in component costs the first year and reduced maintenance costs by $1,809 annually.

To download the free white paper, visit Or visit to learn how companies have cut costs by reducing overhung load.

For more information about Gates Corporation, please contact Mari Jane Panek at 303.744.4533.

About Gates Corporation
Gates Corporation is a global, diversified industrial company that provides advanced power transmission and fluid transfer solutions by engineering products and services that reduce the total cost of ownership for a wide variety of applications. Our products and services serve customers in five key end market segments: Energy/Exploration/Extraction, Infrastructure & Agriculture, Transportation, Automotive, and Process & Specialty.

As an engineering leader with a strong foundation in research and development, Gates is committed to advancing the science of motion performance by developing safe, forward-thinking products, services, systems, and solutions, as well as fostering long-term customer and employee relationships. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Gates employs over 14,000 people across 106 locations in 30 countries.

If it moves you, there’s a good chance Gates has a part in it. Gates. Powering Progress.
Gates Corporation
Mari Jane Panek