Urethane vs Rubber Belts

Thin belts are used for a variety of products, from automotive motors to large industrial machines. The thin belts provide anchors and pulley systems for a variety of mechanical uses and processes, and the belts are vital to the proper functioning of these machines. In the past, only rubber belts were available for this use, because the polyurethane mixture used in today’s urethane belting had yet to be invented. However, modern factories and business owners now get a choice between rubber and urethane belting models.

In many ways, urethane provides many benefits over traditional rubber belts. For a comparison between the two belting types, check out the following list:

Dusting: Rubber belts will eventually create a small dust layer over the nearby pieces in the machine. The friction between the rubber belts and the machine parts shaves away small particles of the rubber belt a little at a time. This creates a dust layer than can eventually interfere with the processes of the machine. Urethane belts will not flake and dust over time, which makes them a better option for machines that require a high level of cleanliness, such as for food related machines.

Lifespan: Urethane belts typically last longer than rubber belts. A rubber belt will eventually loose some of its flexibility, and exposure to air and sunlight can break down the rubber, which will cause it to become brittle and break. Most urethane is resistant to sun exposure and retains its elasticity over time, which usually results in longer belt life.

Manufacturing process: Rubber belts are created by vulcanizing rubber and mixing it with nylon fibers. Most urethane belts are made through injection molding, which produces a cohesive unit. The injection molded belts usually have a higher overall strength with no weak points, while the rubber belts may have less life and be weaker in certain locations.