How to Spot Sheave Wear

Every time you change a belt, you should be checking your sheaves for wear. Neglected, worn sheaves can cause serious issues down the line that result in unexpected downtime and increased replacement costs. When belts are removed, wear might be easy to spot; but what about when belts are still on? Here we discuss some signs that your sheaves may be in need of replacement.

  • Belts Are Bottoming Out

This problem can be misdiagnosed as an issue with the belt, leading you to replace the belt and find that it doesn’t fit like it used to and the problem persists. This is why you should inspect the sheave first and make sure that the sidewalls of the pulleys are still the same pitch as the belt type that you are using. If the sidewalls are worn, the belt will sit deeper and lead to it bottoming out.

  • Increased Use of Belt Dressing

As your belt drive gets louder, you may have noticed that you are going through more and more belt dressing to combat the squeaking. However, keep in mind that belt dressing is intended for maintenance, not repair. Similar to when your belts are bottoming out, the root cause may be that there simply isn’t enough tension in the belts anymore due to worn sheaves.

  • Belts Are Turning Over

A common issue with belt drive systems is what is called belt turn over. Oftentimes this is caused by improper installation, but sheave wear can also be a contributing factor. However, if worn sheaves is the only problem, then you might only notice a loss of tension; while if the V-belts are turning over then there might also be an issue with sheave alignment.

  • Belts Wear Out Faster than Normal

If you are replacing V-belts more frequently than normal, the issue likely isn’t the belts themselves but rather the sheaves. Worn sheaves improperly fit with the V-belts they were specified for, leading to premature wear on the sidewalls and corners. Again, this is why it is important to check your sheaves every time you replace your belts, as you might be spending money on the wrong replacement part.

When it does come time to replace your worn out sheaves, be sure to shop our vast online inventory of QD sheaves and QT sheaves.