Vee belts (also known as V-belt or wedge rope) solved the slippage and alignment problem. It is now the basic belt for power transmission. They provide the best combination of traction, speed of movement, load of the bearings, and long service life. They are generally endless, and their general cross-section shape is trapezoidal (hence the name "V"). The "V" shape of the belt tracks in a mating groove in the pulley (or sheave), with the result that the belt cannot slip off. The belt also tends to wedge into the groove as the load increases—the greater the load, the greater the wedging action—improving torque transmission and making the V-belt an effective solution, needing less width and tension than flat belts. V-belts trump flat belts with their small center distances and high reduction ratios. The preferred center distance is larger than the largest pulley diameter, but less than three times the sum of both pulleys. Optimal speed range is 1000–7000 ft/min. V-belts need larger pulleys for their larger thickness than flat belts.
For high-power requirements, two or more vee belts can be joined side-by-side in an arrangement called a multi-V, running on matching multi-groove sheaves. This is known as a multiple-V-belt drive (or sometimes a "classical V-belt drive").
V-belts may be homogeneously rubber or polymer throughout, or there may be fibers embedded in the rubber or polymer for strength and reinforcement. The fibers may be of textile materials such as cotton or polyester or, for greatest strength, of steel or aramid (such as Twaron or Kevlar).
When an endless belt does not fit the need, jointed and link V-belts may be employed. However they are weaker and only usable at speeds up to 4000 ft/min. A link v-belt is a number of rubberized fabric links held together by metal fasteners. They are length adjustable by disassembling and removing links when needed.
Vee belt history
Trade journal coverage of V-belts in automobiles from 1916 mentioned leather as the belt material,and mentioned that the V angle was not yet well standardized.The endless rubber V-belt was developed in 1917 by John Gates of the Gates Rubber Company. Multiple-V-belt drive was first arranged a few years later by Walter Geist of the Allis-Chalmers corporation, who was inspired to replace the single rope of multi-groove-sheave rope drives with multiple V-belts running parallel. Geist filed for a patent in 1925 and Allis-Chalmers began marketing the drive under the "Texrope" brand; the patent was granted in 1928 (U.S. Patent 1,662,511). The "Texrope" brand still exists, although it has changed ownership and no longer refers to multiple-V-belt drive alone.