Sheaves and pulleys of various shapes and sizes are frequently employed in the mechanical transmission of power. The conventional design of sheaves is based on either empirical formulae or very elementary stress analysis. This paper presents a three-dimensional finite element stress analysis of a sheave and describes a preprocessor developed here, capable of generating data for sheaves of various configurations. Due to pecularities of their geometry and loading, the models are built using eight-node and twelve-node isoparametric brick elements. The preprocessor requires as few as twenty cards for generating data for any of the seven sheave models incorporated in the model library. Excellent correlation of results is obtained, when strains thus generated are compared with those experimentally available for a specific sheave type under loading.

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