Low stretch and maintenance free, Optibelt’s latest product brings a host of benefits over standard V-belt drives. 


Red Power 3 is designed so once correctly tensioned the first time, they don’t require re-tensioning again – a valuable time and money saver. 


A major mining client called on Optibelt to fit its Red Power 3 belts to an agitator drive on the otation circuit at a large copper-gold mine in South Australia. 


Optibelt General Manager Matthew Robinson said the client was so impressed with the performance, it updated its bill of materials to include Red Power 3 as its required V-belt for agitators on the A and B train of its flotation circuit. 


“Red Power 3 is perfectly suited to these agitators because it can transmit the required power and will not need to be re-tensioned for the life of the drive. No other wrapped V-belt on the market has the capability to one-shot tension and installation and become a fit-and-forget drive,” he said. 


Red Power 3 belts use a high modulus polyester tension cord which does not continually stretch over time, giving it the ability to hold tension. In this capacity, Red Power 3 goes beyond similarly strong aramid tension cord V-belts, including Optibelt’s own aramid tension cord Blue Power V-belts. 


While the Blue Power V-belts are capable of higher overall power ratings than Red Power 3, it was not a beneficial belt for the flotation cell drives in this instance. 


“Other aramid cord V-belts will work in this drive but will not have the advantages of the Red Power 3,” Mr Robinson said. 


“In agitator applications, the Red Power 3’s power rating was capable of transmitting the required power while the Blue Power led to over-design and was subsequently not as efficient for this application as it created higher shaft loads on the bearings.” 


Use of Red Power 3 V-belts can increase the mean time between repair on belt-driven applications considerably, compounding cost savings and reduced downtime for the operator. 


Made of high-modulus polyester cord, Red Power 3 V-belts provide set constant length tolerances and are the tightest tolerance V-belt on the market. 


In a typical V-belt, the elastomer transfers forces from the pulley groove walls to the tension cords designed to carry loads, which are generally made from either polyester or aramid, a strong synthetic bre used in Kevlar and Nomex. 


Over time, Mr Robinson said these were prone to stretching and loosening under load, even under perfect operating conditions. 


These repetitive stresses on the V-belt and increased temperatures cause both polyester or aramid tension members to elongate and subsequently require re-tensioning. 


“For proper power transmission and for achieving an acceptable V-belt service life, the correct V-belt tension is of the utmost importance,” Mr Robinson said. 


“Too low or too high V-belt tension will lead to the premature failure of the V-belts.” 


Pulleys in the drive arrangement can also be aligned with the use of Optibelt’s Laser Pointer II. The pointer is attached via a magnetised plate to one side of the pulley and its beam is lined up with three target magnets on the other side which are placed at zero degrees, 90 degrees and 270 degrees. 


When aligned correctly the laser intersects all three target magnets at the same length, making measurement easier and more precise. This saves time and effort should adjustment of both parallel and angular misalignments be required. 


Belt misalignment can be one of the most common causes of premature belt failure, reducing drive performance, service life and accelerating wear. An incorrect alignment can lead to failure within days of installation. 


“Optibelt’s Laser Pointer II is an excellent solution to bring peace of mind to belt drive operators, as it is easy to set up, use and remove from pulleys,” Mr Robinson said. 


“The company is very proud of the benefits it is delivering to clients.”