Staying ahead of the curve

Gates Australia’s PolyChain GT Carbon belts are suited for use in machine tool, roller chain, small conveyors and compact drives where space is a problem. Manufacturers’ Monthly reports.

Industrial chain drives in manufacturing plants are under a lot of stress. Transmission roller chains have to handle heavy loads, high speeds and temperatures, volatile materials and other demanding environmental conditions.

Sometimes, they simply can’t handle those things.

Re-tensioning and lubricating the roller chains can be quite time- consuming, costing businesses in downtime. Some drives even fail only a few months into their lifetime, requiring expensive replacements. All of these add up to the cost of the businesses.

That might have been acceptable in the past. “That’s how we’ve always done it,” business-owners would say. But, according to Gates Australia, that doesn’t cut it anymore, especially when there’s a better option available.

A better alternative

Building on decades of experience in creating optimum solutions for belt drives in both automotive and industrial applications, Gates Australia has introduced PolyChain GT Carbon belts, which are well equipped to handle the demands of any manufacturing environment. PolyChain GT Carbon is Gates’ most powerful synchronous belt and is designed for optimum performance on hig- torque, low-speed drives often seen in industrial applications.

An excellent alternative to chain drives, PolyChain offers many benefits to any business.

The body and teeth of PolyChain GT Carbon are constructed using a lightweight polyurethane compound, which is specially blended to adhere to the cords and fabric. Carbon fibre tensile cords provide extraordinary power-carrying capacity, as well
as exceptional flex fatigue life. Combined, these factors mean PolyChain GT Carbon has the

strength to withstand shocks and surge loading and is virtually immune to abrasions. Being much lighter than steel chain, PolyChain GT Carbon also reduces overhung loads.

Additionally, the new PolyChain GT Carbon has power ratings up to 30 per cent higher than the company’s earlier versions of PolyChain and a service life up to three times longer than conventional roller chains. Similarly, pulley life for PolyChain is up to 10 times longer than roller chain sprockets.

By eliminating the need for constant re-tensioning, lubricating and removing the links, the belts increase the production efficiency and save businesses valuable time. PolyChain GT Carbon belts are maintenance-free. They do not require lubrication or oil baths (a hazard for any food handling environment) or re-tensioning every few months. They will not stretch during service. They offer 400 per cent greater capacity than High Torque Drive (HTD) belts, five per cent energy savings over V-belts, and 99 per cent efficiency for the life of the drive.

PolyChain GT Carbon is inert to most acids, chemicals and water, making it an ideal solution for wet environments – unlike roller chains, which can rust, potentially contaminating food-handling spaces.

The belts operate on Poly Chain GT pulleys and do not require any adaptation of existing GT2 applications.


The belts come in a range of pitches. This range includes both short and extended custom lengths to suit a variety of manufacturing purposes.

Short-length versions of the belt in five metres and eight metres are suitable for industrial markets requiring a short centre distance but high-density power and offer all the benefits listed above. PolyChain GT Carbon is also available in the 19-metres length to handle longer drive centre distances, while delivering high-power capability, long life and freedom from maintenance. PolyChain GT Carbon offers a 96 per cent weight saving versus traditional, comparable transmission roller chains.

Extended length manufacturing capability allows for custom belt lengths with any tooth count – within the minimum and maximum length range.

All PolyChain GT Carbon belts are operational in temperature extremes of minus 54°C to 85°C and can be used for applications in general manufacturing, food and beverage, timber, agriculture, oil and gas, cement and more. They are suited to a range of different environments, from food production to fans and pumps.

PolyChain GT Carbon also offers reduced width drive conversions for existing roller chain applications, and over 120,000 possible ratio combinations, making it easy to switch the drives. The space-saving, weight-saving, time-saving and money-saving drives offer a long and reliable service life.

Company: Gates Australia

Phone: (03) 9797 9688


Web: PolyChain