It has been observed in practice, that the lifetime of a multiple V-belt drive is always less than the corresponding life of a single V-belt drive. This is due to an uneven contribution of all belts of the multiple drive to the power transmission owing to microerrors in the equality of the diameters and profiles of all grooves and of the lengths of all belts. These microerrors cause a distribution of the transmission ratios among the branches of the V-belt around a mean value which in turn results in an uneven loading of the belts and a reduction of their “life.” In the present work, analytical relations are obtained for the influence of the aforementioned errors on the elastic creep of the belts, on the transmitted power, and on the other characteristics of the belt drive. An experiment was made to verify the analytical results.

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