Model: V01 Belt Drive Mechanism
This class of mechanisms uses leather belts to transmit motion from one wheeled axis or pulley to another. Reuleaux called belts, tension organs, in a class with rope, wire and chain drives. To help keep the belts on the pulley, the surface of the outer rim would be designed to take the shape of a cylindrical, conical or toroidal surface. Such belt mechanisms were called "self guiding". Willis (1841, 1870) called them "wrapping connectors"
The use of belting for the transmission of power was universal in the factories of the 19th century when the source of power was centralized as in a steam engine. The development of small motors in the late 19th century meant that each machine could have its own power source and obviated the need for belting. However some machine shops in the middle 20th century could still be found with extensive belting with the power source a large electric motor replacing the steam engine. Belt drives are still used in modern vehicle engines to drive water and fuel pumps, and the alternator.

Francis Moon 2001-00-00

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