Free gauge gets in the groove

1 min read

Worn pulley grooves can be the direct cause of frequent belt replacements and drops in energy efficiency. A free gauge can ensure that they are up to scratch.

Efficient operation of V and wedge belt drive systems depends on both the belts and the pulleys being in good condition.

Users of V and wedge belt drives are generally aware that the belts need replacing on average every three years, but since pulleys are made from cast iron, engineers may assume that they do not wear and they tend to be overlooked.

Worn pulley grooves, however, can be the direct cause of more frequent belt replacements and significant drops in energy efficiency. Although they wear more slowly than belts, once a pulley groove is out of shape, it can result in belt slippage, which in turn causes accelerated wear in both components. The wear rate then becomes exponential.

But by using a Fenner Pulley Groove Gauge, it's possible to determine if pulley grooves are worn or not, allowing engineers to make an informed and swift decision on remedying any potential problem.

The most noticeable effect of pulley groove wear is rapid belt wear and deterioration, before that point though the belt drive efficiency will have reduced dramatically, in basic terms, slippage = speed loss, and speed loss = lost energy and inefficiency.

As an example, a 37kW electric motor running continuously at an average electricity tariff of £0.06 kWh will cost £17,250 per year to run. Poor pulley groove condition can easily waste 10% of the energy input into the unit, wasted energy will therefore amount to £1,750 per annum. Replacement pulleys for this system would have an ROI period of less than two months, and companies with an energy saving target could add the efficiency improvement to their target.

To obtain a Fenner Pulley Groove Gauge, readers need only to contact WYKO direct at and ask for one!