One of the major disadvantages of conventional belts is that slip may occur and this makes them inappropriate for applications that require synchronization of input and output shafts. Another name for a synchronous belt is timing belt and they were made to resolve this issue. Synchronous belts have a toothed profile that engages with the groove in a pulley. This simulates the characteristics and properties of chains or gears.
When they were first produced, synchronous belts were reinforced with steel but in recent times, reinforcement is done with glass fibre or aramid. The standard tooth profile on a synchronous belt is the trapezoidal profile. This profile is popular in several applications like machine tools, home appliances, business equipment, and textile machinery.
Synchronous belts have features that make them very useful. They are very flexible and thin. This makes them useful in miniature drives and high speed applications. Synchronous belts also have the ability to sustain high load.
On the flip side, synchronous belts are relatively more expensive than other belt types. There have been modifications to the tooth profile of synchronous belts. We now have the full rounded profile which is sometimes referred to as HTD. The advantage of this tooth profile is that it facilitates even distribution of load and has better tooth shear strength. Because of this, it has better load carrying capability than the trapezoidal tooth profile.
Another tooth profile is the modified curvilinear tooth design. This is also referred to as STPD. It has impressive qualities like improved load life, greater load capacity, and it is non-ratcheting.
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