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Jnl. MechanismsVolume 2, i~p.

395-406/Pergamon Press1967/Printed in Great Britain

Equations of Forces and Motion of

Power-Transmission Mediums in V-shaped Pulleys
Dr. -Ing. Karl-Dieter Schlums*
Received 15 April 1967

If the elasticity of the belt or other transmission medium is taken into account, the
simple equations are inadequate. Deformation of the belt causes it on the driving
pulley to squeeze inward, on the driven pulley to ride higher between the flanks, as
it travels around the pulley. This radial movement is opposed by friction, which may
cause self-locking of the belt in the vee. The equations of Lutz [3] are applied for
moving-inward of a driven pulley. For self-locking of driving and driven pulley
spreading forces are computed by the author. Also for drawing-inward expressions
for slip and energy loss are presented by the author.

Falls die Elastizit~t des Keilriemens oder anderer Zugmittel in Betracht genommen
werden, sind die Beziehungen nach Eytelwein nicht mehr ausreichend. Die
Deformation des Riemens zwingt den Riemen des Antriebes in die Riemenscheibe
hinein, aber den Riemen des Abtriebes zwischen den Flanken der Scheibe, w~hrend
der Bewegung rund um die Scheibe, h6her zu laufen. Diese radiale Bewegung
wird durch Reibung gehindert und kann zur Selbstklemmung des Riemens in der
Rille f0hren. Die Gleichungen von Lutz [3] werden bei Selbsthemmung for den
Einwanderungsbereich der getriebenen Scheibe angewendet. FOr die
Selbsthemmbereiche der treibenden und getriebenen Scheibe sind die
Scheibenspreizkr~fte vom Verfasser berechnet. FOr das Einwandern werden
Ausdr0cke for Schlupf und Energie-Verlust vom Veffasser abgeleitet.

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H ~ ~I~ 3TOrO ~BH~KCH~If[eHyTpb H Hapyx~y, pacnpe~caeH~Lq cKn, 6 y x c o a a m ~ x noTcp~ 3HeprPm

BELTS, ropes and chains, in short, various power transmission mediums, operating through
pulleys, are applied to transmit forces and motion from one shaft to another or to lift loads.
The power transmission results in friction between pulley and transmission medium. In
order to improve the force transmission of flat-face or round grooved pulleys, pulleys are
made V-shaped (Fig. 1).

Former Equations
When it is regarded that the bodies in contract arc inelastic, the force transmission
between the transmission medium and V-shaped pulley is deduced very easily from the Euler
Equation for rope friction [1], to the well-known Eytelwein Equation. Corresponding to the

* Institut fiJr Maschinenelemente und F6rdertechnik (Prof. Lutz), Tcchnische Hochschule Braun-
schweig, Germany.

effective normal force in the case of wedge surfaces, the transmitting force Z N for a constant
and maximum value of coefficient of friction/l is given by

. = Z 2 exp /~ fl - 1 (1)

( belt} V-chain,round rope}

of face pulley Rope or cord pulley ~ V-shaped pulley

Figure 1. Various pulleys and the corresponding frictional transmission medium.

in which Z~ is the force on the tight side, Z, the force on the slack side, ~ the wedge angle,
and fl the angle of lap (see Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Geometry of the arc of contact.
When elasticity is considered, the driving medium is drawn progressively further in or
out of the groove of the pulley by the peripheral forces. The frictional forces of contact
between the pulley and transmission medium are directed opposite to these motions. For
radial squeezing into the groove, R6tscher [2] has computed the ratio of forces on the tight
and slack sides as:
Zl/Z2=ex p . # . fl

Forces and M o t i o n in Elastic Transmission M e d i u m

The driving medium is deformed in varying amount around the arc of contact. It draws
deeper into the groove of the pulley with an increasing transmission of power, or rides out
with decreasing forces in the transmission medium. For constant length of the transmission
medium a circumferential slip must also occur, because the length is a function of the contact
radius in the groove of the pulleys. This slip-motion can be described relative to the position
of relative rest (the Orthogonal point). Considering at first only purely radial drawing in-
ward or outward to another contact radius, the tangential component of slip-motion will
always increase with greater angle of lap (Fig. 3). Moreover, the frictional force will change
its direction. Only its tangential component will actually contribute to produce useful force
of transmission. For the case of moving inward, therefore of increasing of the belt tensions,
Slip curves

z j

Figure 3. Slip motion of an elastic transmission medium.

the equilibrium conditions in the radial and peripheral planes of the groove of the pulley (see
Figs. 4 and 5) are expressed (if angle ~t is assumed small enough that cosct/2 = 1) by


dZ = 2/~dS Nsin 7 ,4)

in which dS N is the normal force on the wedge surface of looping element and ? indicates the
angle of slip to the radial direction. From equations (3) and (4), the transmitting force is
deduced :

dZ _ /~sin ~ dfl (5)

Z sin(~t/2)+/~cos

/•j ~ d SN cos ~

Figure 4. Forces between the transmission medium and the V-groove in the
radial plane.

Figure 5. Force transmission in t h e plane of contact.

In this expression the angle of the slip y depends upon the angle of lap ft. According to Lutz
[3] the angle of slip can be correlated to the drawing-inward of the transmission medium.
The drawing-inward x can be reckgnedas:the d'Lfferenc¢ of the working radius of contact and
the briginal position ro; neglecting the elastic elongation i a the longitudinal direction of the
transmission, its relationship to the angle of slip ? (see Fig. 6) is found as follows:
r odfl = r d f l - tan ydr (6)
and with


Figure 6. Drawing-inward of the transmission medium.

The drawing-inward can be assumed simplified as a linear function of the driving force in
the medium. Thus

Z =Zo + kx, (8)

having a stiffness coefficient k, a consideration of the material and shape of the transmission
If Zo =kxo defines Xo, there results

dZ dx dx
- - - F , (9)
Z ro-X Xo+X

and with equation (5) for

dx.~.dx dx ( #'sin? )dr (10)

r o - x :% + x' x o +-----~= sin(ct/2)-2~pcos y

The drawing-inward can now be got from equation (7):

x sin2y
Xo (l//~,)cos y +cos 2y

in which the characteristic factor of friction 1/lls = sin(~/2)/# is introduced [3]. The drawing-
inward depends upon the angle of slip only for constant frictional conditions.
Differentiating equation (l l) with respect to fl and making use of equation (7), we may
obtain the relationship between the angle of lap and angle of slip:

dr= (l//A)(c°s2y+l)+2c°s7 "

cos ),[2 cos 2 3,+ (1//as)cos ), - 1] °7 (12)

This is then integrated [3]

+2~+2e . / ife-l~ ;) (13)

arc tan! / I - - / • tan

with the terms

6 = - 4/a,
1+x/(1+ 8#~


= I+.,/(I+
With the equations (11) and (13) the drawing-inward can be plotted against the angle of
lap. From equation (8) the transmission medium force can be expressed as a nondimensional

Z---=I +---x (14)

Zo x0

Graphs of the drawing-inward and the transmission force in the medium are shown in Fig. 7
as functions of the angle of lap. This diagram is valid for the driven pulley for the case when

=- angle of lap f]
o I 2 3 A 5 ;0

o I
7 " ~ ~ ~ ~ I'575° o ' 2

2 3

"'~ 5
~6 - 7~
~7 - - 8
9 IO
10 II

Figure 7. The drawing-inward and pulling force in driven V-shaped pulley.

(Equation 14).

the drawing-inward and transmission force increase around the angle of lap (equal to the
angle of rotation). In the driven pulley the frictional forces are directed opposite to the
drawing-inward, but in the driving pulley opposite to the drawing-outward. The frictional
term in equation (3) reverses its sign from plus to minus for the ease of drawing-outward.
The equation is then only logical [4] for

1___. cos~ (15)


If the component of the frictional force reaches or exceeds the radial component of the
normal force [(1//is)<cosy], then only a part of the maximum possible frictional force is
exploited, which is in equilibrium with the normal force. The transmission force can attain
a value of zero, without altering the state of equilibrium. The transmission medium is thus
self-locking in the vee-wedge of the pulley. Only the force Zdfl > 0, for example, the forced
pulling out of the wedge on the running-off side, can loosen this condition. Self-locking can
also be characterized as an efficiency of the wedge-motion [4]. In the case of drawing-
inward, the efficiency can be written
~/,- (16)
tan a/2 +

Self-locking, and therefore locking of the transmission medium within the vee of the pulley,
occurs when r/,<0.5.
The corresponding condition for the case of drawing-outward is:
tan a/2-/~
r/,= ., _<0 (17)
tan ~/2

Disk Spreading Forces

The V-shaped pulleys are adjustable in many cases in order that the effective diameter
of the transmission medium and the transmission ratio may be changed. The forces acting
on the disks of the pulley cause stress in the interposed elements. The spreading forces in
the axial direction of the pulleys are therefore especially interesting. The axial component
of the normal force can be integrated around the angle of lap:


Using equation (3) for dSN (see [3]):

~= Z. cos a/2
S. . . . . . . dfl (19)
~B, 2(sin ~/2 + tt cos ?)

(the plus sign for drawing-inward, and the minus sign for drawing-outward). The spreading
force can be written as a nondimensional quantity:

S- tan(~/2)_ S~,2(1 + X/Xo)/(l + Ps cos y)dfl

z,, 2[(XdXo)-(~JXo)]
For the conditions of self-locking the transmission tension Z before the onset of relative rest
between transmission medium and pulley (?~0) is determined by equation (19). Then Z
should be ZI for the running.on side of the driving pulley, and Z 2 for the running-on side of
the driven pulley, [4, 5]. In reckoning the total angle of lap of the driving pulley the very
small angle of drawing-in is neglected; with tlfis, the condition for self-locking is
1 1
- - < cos?, and as y--*O°, --<1.0,
/~s /q

because there is no drawing-outward [4] (note the subscript s meaning self-locking):

Ss" tan cq2 fl, (21)
Zt¢ 2(1 - l/m)(1 +/1,)

In the driven pulley, self-locking can occur only around the angle of lap fl, until the begin-
ning of the drawing-inward from Z2 to ZI; Xo=Xs; xz=0:

Ss tan :t/2_ /~ ~ ~] (1 + x/x~)/(t + #~ cos y)dfl (22)

Z,,~ 2(m - 1)(1 +/A) 2[(xl)/(x,)]

In Figs. 8 and 9 are plotted the results of calculation and measurement with an experimental
vee-belt drive with an angle of lap/~-/32=200 °. These show that for equal angle of lap,

ZN driven pulley
200 °
~ s
' ~ = l q~ ~ aa W

~2 t

m 0
I 2 3 Z I / Z2 4
ratio of forces in tight and slack side

S. tg 0~2
ZN I driving pulley
I!~ 2000

i i\ ,

\ ,,,,7'/'\\./

~ 0
1 2 3 4 5 ZI/Z2 6
ratio of forces in tight end stack side

Figures 8 & 9. Disk spreading force/transmitting force as a function of the ratio of

forces in tight and slack sides. Results of operation and of measurement.
Parameter for the series of curves : characteristic factor of friction 1//z,.

equal initial stress and equal torque transmission the spreading forces in the driving pulley
are much greater than in the driven pulley. This also can be deduced from equation (19) for
the friction term in the denominator makes the spreading force greater for the case of draw-
ing-outward (minus sign). Worley [6, 7], Morgan [8] and Dittrieh [9] have informed us
earlier about the differences in the power-transmission capabilities of the driving or driven

The difference in movement between the transmission medium and the pulley is called
the slip (sometimes also the rotational speed loss under load in a frictional drive is called its
slip). The slip u increases as the transmission force changes around the angle of lap. By
integrating the tangential component of slip motion, we get

'7t d x
ur=/ -- , (23)
Jzo cot~,

and by applying equation (7):

f )'o
xdfi (24)

Thus the slip expressed as a nondimensional quantity in terms of drawing-inward x 0 is for

the driven pulley:

U T _ r ~, sin2 Y dfl (25)

~o-J,o 1/#, cos--~cos 2~

This made use of equation (1 l); next, introducing equation (12):

ur (Y'. 1/#,(cos2 y + 1)+2 cos y .

/ tany ~ .smydy (26)
x o J~o (l/#~cos ~+cos 2y)"

By correlating angle of slip y to angle of lap fl by means of equation (13), the slip can nowbe
graphed in terms of the angle of lap, Fig. 10. The slip can be read for every point around the

choracteri'stic factor of
friction .j_ I h I I I I I I
Xo I"
r = 0~4

i iiiI////~,;.

0 90 180 270 {o] 360
angle of lap

Figure 10. Slip motion ur/xo in driven V-shaped pulley as a function of angle of lap,
for drawing-inward. Parameter: the characteristic factor of friction 1/l~s.

angle of lap. The parameter of each curve is the characteristic factor of friction 1/~ts. "l'he
slip increases progressively with greater angle of lap. If contact between the transmission
medium and the V-shaped pulley begins with an angle of slip y > 0 °, then the consequent
drawing-inward begins with a circumferential component in the difference-motion. This slip
can be detected as speed loss and the accompanying alteration in the transmission ratio. For
a definite angle of lap, slip can readily be computed for the beginning and final values of the
arc of contact, depending on the ratio of forces on the tight and slack sides and the charac-
teristic factor of friction. At the beginning and end of the arc of contact, the forces Z1/Z o
and Z2/Z o can also be correlated, and the ratio of forces on the tight and slack sides can be
computed. For the angle of lap A f t = f i t - f l 2 = 180° the circumferential slip is graphed in
Fig. 1 I, as a function of the ratio of forces Zt/Z2. Once again the parameter of the different
curves is the varying characteristic factor of friction l[p,. For low characteristic factors of
friction (i.e. great values in the coefficient of friction) the slip increases rapidly from a
definite value in the ratio of forces Z J Z 2 .

xo L


l 2 3 ~ 5 6 Z_~_~8
ratio of forces on tight end Zz
slack s/de
F i g u r e 11. Slip motion Ur/Xo in driven V-shaped pulley as a function of ratio of
forces on tight and slack sides, for drawing-inward, with angle of
lap 180 °. Parameter : the characteristic factor of friction 1//~,.

Frictional Work
Frictional work Ar is the product of slip length by frictional force:
d(~)(d(~)A,) = 2 / ~ d S N - - (27)
cos 7
An element of the transmission medium r. dfl has an ever increasing slip length around the
angle of lap with increasing transmission force (on the driven pulley). Furthermore, the
elements of frictional work increase correspondingly:

dry)A, = (28)
,. cos 7

The instantaneous condition of the frictional work, integrated around the angle of lap, is

A,=2p| [ dS~ ", (29)

j#,d,/?,"' cos 7

The normal force can be written as a function of pulling force:

dS~- Zdfl
2(sin ~/2 +,u cos 7)

(Compare equation 3). The transmitting force can expressed from equations (8) and (11):

Z .... 1/#s+cos7
( ) ~ U ~ l (30)
Zo 1/Its cos ~ + cos 27


Zo -d#2 LJ~2 1/flsCOS 7 + COS 2~

Then the elemental drawing-inward dx is given, making use of equation (10):

dx siny 1 /~# , ( c ° s-Z ? + ~ l ) + 2 c ° s T a7
x0 (1/Ps cos y + cos 2y) 2


A, - f a ' IF I['~,
sin y[l//as(cos2
~ -
7 + 1)+ 2 cos ?]~a y l"]j,,
- ap (33)
Zoxo IL,LJ~., (1/u.~ cos 7 + cos 2~) a J

In this equation the angle of slip y and angle of lap fl are correlated by equation (13). A
graph of the frictional work is given in Fig. 12 for a driven pulley having an angle of lap 180°.
The drawing-inward occurs during the complete angle of lap. Therefore the transmission
medium begins both its contact and tangential slipping simultaneously for r2 > 0 (compare
Fig. 7). The power loss and wear of the transmission medium can then be calculated also,
provided that the frequency of pulley contact is known. In a similar way to the calculation
of slippage, the transmitting forces for frictional work can also be correlated to the angle of
lap and the angle range, and thence to the ratio of forces in tight and slack sides. In Fig. 13
frictional work is shown as a function of the ratio of forces for different characteristic factors
of friction 1/ps. It should be remarked that for low values of the coefficient of friction, the
frictional work increases at a greater rate with increasing ratio of forces than when the
coefficient of friction has a higher value.





o 50 ~00 [ o] tSO
beginning of contctct B2

Figure 12. Frictional work on a driven V-shaped pulley, for an angle of lap 1 80 °.
Curves with tangential slip in motion at the beginning~of contact
(~z > 0 ° ) • Parameter:the characteristic factor of friction 1//~,.



2 3 4 5 ----"-Z---!.17
ratio of forces in t~ght and slack side Zz

Figure 13. Frictional energy of driven V-shaped pulley, with an angle of lap 180 °,
as a function of ratio of forces on tight and slack sides. Parameter : the
characteristic factor of friction 1//l=.

[1] EULERL. Novi Commentationes Petropolitani 20 ad 1775, p. 333. St. Petersburg (1776).
[2] ROrSCHER F. Die Maschinenelemente, Bd. II; see p. 1236. Berlin (1929).
[3] LUTZ O. Zur Theorie des Keilscheiben-Umschlingungsgetriebes,Konstruktion, 12, 265/268 (1960).
[4] LtJTZ O. und SCHLUMSK.-D. Die Selbsthemmung in kraftschli.issigen Keilscheiben-Umschlingungs-
getrieben, Konstruktion, 17, 365/368 (1965).
[5] SCHLUMS K.-D. Untersuchungen an Umschlingungsgetrieben, Diss. Braunschweig (1959).
[6] WORLEYW.S. Variable Speed V-Belt Drives for Farm Machines. Discussion. Agricultural Engineering,
July (1950).
[7] WORLEY W. S. Designing Adjustable-Speed V-Belt Drives for Farm Implements. SAE National
Tractor Meeting, Milwaukee, Wis., September (1954).
[8] MORGANN. E. Discussion to [7] : Experimental Data Disagree with Theoretical Results. SAE National
Tractor Meeting, Milwaukee, Wis., September (1954).
[9] Drr'rlucH O. Theorie des Umschlingungsgetriebes mit keilformigen Reibscheiben[tanken, Diss. Karlsruhe