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The 4 Best Types Of Belt Drive (A Complete Comparison) | Everything You Need To Know About A Conveyor Belt System

Types of Belt Drive:

With so many different types of belt drive, it’s important to know what you need. The belt drive is a form of power transmission during which power is transferred from a motor to a machinery through a belt. The belt drive system is characterized by its smooth operation, ease of maintenance, and high efficiency. The Conveyor Belt System is ideal for packaging, positioning, conveying of the product, and reducing the labor intensity of workers. There are several types of belt drives. The main types can be divided into 4 groups:

  • Single Unsnubbed Bare / Lagged pulley Drive

  • Snubbed Bare / Lagged Pulley Drive

  • Tandem Drive

  • Special Drives

Conveyor Belt System is an automated loop system which is used to move the material from one place to another. It is also called as Conveyor Transport System. This conveyor belt system is generally employed in the industries where continuous movement of material with different shapes and sizes are required. We can find the application of this system in various industries like cement plants, coal plants, food processing plants, chemical industries etc. for moving materials short distances or long distances at controlled speeds.

Single Unsnubbed Bare / Lagged Pulley Drive | Types of belt drive

This is the simplest drive arrangement consisting of a steel pulley connected to a motor and the belt wrapped round it on an arc of 180°. This can be used for low capacity short center conveyors handling non-abrasive material. The pulley may be lagged to increase the coefficient of friction.

01-unsnubbed bare pulley-lagging-snub pulley-belt conveyor drive arrangement-driving pulley-tandem drive-Types of Belt Drive:

A single unsnubbed lagged pulley drive is a types of belt drive component of the power transmission system which is used to convey power from one shaft to another or to transmit torque between two rotating components for belt drives, chain drives, etc. The general construction of this type of drive consists of a number of elements which are assembled together in order to provide high performance and efficiency. These elements include pulleys, shafts, bearings, couplings among others.

Bare Pulley drives a types of belt drive are a reliable and economical way to move material in most applications. The single-ended design is very easy to install and maintain. With the right pulleys and belt, bearings and shafting, your application can be designed for high or low speeds, or even both! Custom designs are available based on your application requirements.

Snubbed Bare / Lagged Pulley Drive | Types of Belt Drive

Here the angle of wrap is increased from 180° to 210° or even up to 230°, by providing a snub pulley to the driving pulley. In majority of medium to large capacity belt conveyors, handling mild abrasive to fairly abrasive materials, 210° snub pulley drive with load pulley lagged with hard rubber is adopted.

01-snubbed bare pulley drive-snubbed lagged drive pulley-large capacity belt conveyors-snub pulley-driving pulley

The most popular type of belt drive is the bare pulley drive. In this system, the belt wraps around a wheel, which turns a drum. The drum, in turn, turns another wheel that leads out from underneath it. A problem with this arrangement is that when you pull on the belt at one end, the other end moves in exactly the same direction and distance as well. That means that if you’re trying to lift something heavy and need to control its movement precisely, there’s little or no options in the belt drive.

Tandem drive | Types of Belt Drive

Here belt tension estimated to be high; the angle of wrap is increased by adopting tandem drives. Both of tandem pulleys are driven. The tandem drive with arc of contact from 300° to 480° or more can operate with one or two motors. The location of such drive is usually determined by the physical requirements of the plant and structural constraints.

01-tandem drive-two pulley drives-belt conveyor angle of wrap-types of belt conveyor drives-belt conveyor drive arrangement

The tandem pulley drive is an application where two or more than two pulleys are used together in series to lift heavy loads, which would be impossible otherwise. It uses multiple belts and several blocks to give extra power at certain points along the way, thus increasing the load capacity of the conveyor drive. The device increases mechanical advantage by allowing the force to be applied at a different location relative to where it is exerted.

Special Drive | Types of Belt Drive

Special drives with snub pulleys and pressure belts used in heavy and long conveyors are the types of belt drives in a conveyor material handling.

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These pulleys have been specifically designed to be used in applications which require high stiffness and large radial rigidity. It consists of one round belt, one fixed sheave and one movable sheave with a groove through which the belt passes. In most cases it is sufficient to use only two round belts as shown in the diagram. The same effect as with the snub pulley can also be achieved by using an endless belt.

Applications of Belt Drive

When we talk about conveyor parts and conveyor belt systems, we often hear the terms: belt, drive and pulley. It is understandable that these terms are not very familiar to people who work in other industries. But they are essential terms to understand when talking about conveyors. Conveyor belt drives are used in various industries to transport material. For example, in the food industry conveyor belts are used to transport raw materials around the production facility and also deliver finished product to packaging machinery.

The main objective behind using conveyor belt drive system is that it helps in easy movement of material from one point to another without any human intervention, thus reducing human efforts and increasing operational efficiency considerably.

In the early 1900s, conveyor systems began to be used in factories to replace manual labor and move heavy or bulky items from one place to another without the need for lifting or moving by hand. The use of these systems continues today in a variety of capacities throughout industry and manufacturing facilities.


There are many different types of belt drives available for your conveyors Whether you need a replacement or want to upgrade, it’s important to make sure you get the right type to avoid damaging your conveyor in any way. If you have any questions about any of these options, please leave us a comment below!

2 thoughts on “The 4 Best Types Of Belt Drive (A Complete Comparison) | Everything You Need To Know About A Conveyor Belt System”

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