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Listening to the sounds of tension

01 August, 2000

Listening to the sounds of tension

Correct tensioning of transmission belts is vital if they are to perform correctly. Under-tensioning can result in slippage; over-tensioning can increase shaft loads and shorten belt lives. But measuring tension has traditionally been a time-consuming, tedious business with mechanics often guessing the tension in a belt by twisting it or pressing down on it with their thumbs.

A high-tech alternative to this unreliable approach is now available in the form of a electronic tension meter from the belt supplier Gates Power Transmission. The 505C meter analyses the frequencies of the noise produced by a synchronous belt to derive a value for the tension. The palm-sized sonic meter has an auto-gain function that cancels out background noise automatically, making measurements easy, according to the company.

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