Ask Hytrol: How to Determine Proper Timing Belt Tension

The timing belts in your material handling operation must be properly tensioned in order to run smoothly and efficiently.

The universally accepted method of determining belt tension is by depressing the belt 1/64″ per inch of span. Hytrol provides a tool called a tension gauge to measure this.

After proper lock-out tag-out procedures, remove the chain guard. Then, measure the length of span between sheave tangent points. Line up the bottom of the large O-ring at the correct point—if it is a 50-inch span, it would be set on “50.” Then, set the top small o-ring against the instrument flange.

Depress the instrument downward at the center of the span until the large o-ring is in line with the tangent point of the drive. You can use a straight-edge ruler or a neighboring belt in a multiple-belt drive. Make sure the sprockets are straight.

Read the number of pounds of force indicated by the small o-ring on the plunger rod. Multiply that number by 16 in order to determine the current belt tension.

Hytrol includes the recommended instrument reading on the sticker located on the inside of the chain guard. Make sure your measurements match, and adjust tension if necessary.

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