Timing Belt | Advantages, Disadvantages, Applications

By | August 8, 2018

Timing belt is a special kind of belt (with teeth) which is used to transfer rotary motion from one shaft to another.

We know that there are several methods by which we can transfer rotary motion of one shaft to another. For example, Gears, ropes, belts (without teeth) etc.

In this article we will understand under which circumstances each of the above-mentioned method of power transfer is used.

At the end we will study timing belt (or toothed belt) so that we can understand it completely.

1. Gears

For transferring power from one shaft to another which are very close to each other we use gears.

Advantages of Gears

  • It gives us accurate motion
  • It has high-power transfer efficiency

Disadvantages of Gears

  • They are costly
  • For the shafts which are considerably apart gears are not suitable

2. Ropes

Rope is suitable for transferring power between shafts which are some distance apart (In some case it can be 30 to 40 meters).

Advantages of Ropes

  • They are very cheap

Disadvantages of Ropes

  • It provides very low efficiency in power transfer
  • Due to slip, motion transfer is inaccurate

3. Belts

Belts are used where the distance between the rotating shaft is beyond the reach of gears but much below the reach of belts. Practically between 5 to 10 meters.

Advantages of Belts

  • They are cheap in comparison to gears
  • Motion transfer with belts is more accurate then ropes

Disadvantages of Belts

  • They are costly when compared to ropes
  • Motion transfer is not as accurate as gears, due to slip

4. Timing belt

Timing belt is generally taken as a sub-type of belts. Timing belts carry accuracy of gears and cheapness of belts.

Timing Belt

Timing Belt

As we can see in above picture it contains teeth like gears which provides positive engagement with the pulley. Timing belts are used with special types of toothed pulleys which are specially designed for a particular timing belt.

Timing belt got its name from from its ability to transfer motion at the exact preset timing.

Timing belt application

Timing belt application

Advantages of timing belt

  • Delivers precise motion with accurate timing
  • Almost no vibrations produced
  • No slip problem
  • No noise generation which transferring g power
  • Very high mechanical efficiency up to 98%
  • No need of lubrication as compared with gears
  • Very cheap as compared to gears
  • No problem of rusting or corrosion
  • Weight is less
  • Safe to use

Disadvantages of timing belt

  • Costly when compared to ropes
  • Power transfer capacity is comparatively less
  • Can be used be power transfer to less distance than ropes

Applications of timing belt

  • They are used with encoders
  • They are used in cars, treadmills, sewing machines

Image source:

Timing belt: Attribution: Terabass [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

Timing belt application: Referrel link: https://www.maxpixel.net/4-stroke-Motorcycle-Engine-Italian-Monster-Ducati-3493229, licence: CC0 Public Domain

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