25 Oct 2012
Gates, has unveiled the latest innovation in multi-ribbed belts: the Micro-V® Horizon. Specially engineered for today’s powerful and downsized engines, Horizon is a multi-ribbed belt which has been designed to run silently, with greater stability and unparalleled flexibility.
Modern Multi-Ribbed Belts for Modern Engines
The latest generation of engines may indeed be smaller than their predecessors but the opposite is true in terms of performance. This has had a direct effect on the requirements of the multi-ribbed belt. Furthermore, it is not just the engine which has become smaller; pulleys have become smaller too (see Figure1).
As the pulleys in the drive have a smaller diameter (yellow), the belt must also become more flexible in order to bridge the radius of rotation (blue) as this is where the belt transfers power to the pulley. The belt can cool down between two pulleys (red) but the belt has less time to do so due to a shorter free tensioning length. A more compact engine compartment leads to higher temperatures under the bonnet putting even higher demands on the belt.
The Micro-V® Horizon in More Detail
A Micro-V® Horizon multi-ribbed belt consists of three components: the undercord or rib side (1), the cord pack (2) and the overcord (3). The EPDM rubber undercord of the Micro-V® Horizon is reinforced with fibres. EPDM remains stable over a wide temperature range and Gates is the only manufacturer in the aftermarket which has a complete range of EPDM rubber belts. The compound, which Gates has developed and produced in-house, will guarantee a trouble-free operation from -40°C to +140°C. EPDM rubber is also highly resistant to oil and coolant leaks.
Image shows the construction of a Micro-V Horizon Belt
The cord pack for belts for standard applications consists of tensile cords made of polyester. For other applications tensile cords can be made of nylon (Stretch Fit belt) or aramid (for extremely heavy drives).
Finally, the unique overcord consists of an EPDM top layer on a tissue which increases flexibility thanks to a unique blue adhesion layer. This blue layer, based on Gates’ experiences with OE belts for the VAG group, is clearly visible on the side of the belt. In this way, the Micro-V® Horizon multi-ribbed belt clearly differentiates itself from other multi-ribbed belts. Gates has also addressed the profile and the rib angle as well as the composition. The Micro-V® Horizon measures only 4.2mm. This is based on the OE trend for more economical engine components with reference to Euro 5 & Euro 6. The rib angle is adapted to 42 degrees, the current Micro-V® standard in OE, for optimum guiding of the belt into the pulley.
More than just a multi-ribbed belt
Apart from the flawless quality of the belt, a great deal depends on the other components in the drive, the correct installation of components and the timely replacement of parts. For Gates, high quality products cannot be separated from the information necessary for correct installation and maintenance. The Micro-V® Horizon belt is therefore not a stand-alone product.
You probably already know that Gates provides technical training and technical bulletins based on OE information to support mechanics. But there is more…
The QR code on the packaging of each Horizon belt leads the mechanic straight to a dedicated website, a treasure trove of technical information. Gates has also developed an application that iPhone and Android users can use to check the condition of the belt in just a few seconds without removing the belt from the drive. Gates has also developed a new tool with which both the belt and the pulleys can be checked for wear.