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What Is a Grooved Pulley?

Article Details
  • Written By: Mark Wollacott
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A grooved pulley has a number of grooves running around the outer rim of a pulley. It is used to reduce the amount of force needed to move or lift an object. The grooves allow for more protection from belt drift, which can break a machine. Such pulleys are often cast-made in factories.

Pulleys form one of mankind’s most simple machines. The term comes from Old French via Medieval Greek and Latin. The original word polidia means ‘little pivots’ rather than being related to wheels. The machines themselves are of an older pedigree and are one of man’s earliest creations.

A single belt is used to connect a number of pulley wheels together. This belt can be made from cable, chain, rope or a fabric belt. A grooved pulley can be used by itself or in conjunction with one or more other pulleys. There are several types of basic pulley systems in use around the world.

The fixed pulley keeps the axle in a fixed position. This allows for additional stability, but limits the amount of additional power it can provide. A movable pulley system can multiply the power produced by two, but has less stability. The compound system, on the other hand, combines elements of both fixed and movable pulleys and can produce more than twice as much power.

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The grooved pulley does not change the work being done. Instead, it reduces the amount of force needed in order to complete its designed task. This usually involves moving or lifting an object. The pulley and the belt are put in place so that they are essentially weightless. This means there is little friction to reduce the amount of energy being transferred into the system’s task.

Normal pitch and timer pulleys require a flange around the rim of the pulley. A flange is a protective wall to stop the belt from slipping off. The natural advantage of the grooved pulley is that its grooves work in the same manner as flanges. As the pulley has a number of grooves, it means belts of different sizes or a different number of belts can be used so long as they fit within the grooves.

The grooved pulley has a number of advantages. It allows for a smooth and relatively quiet running of the machine. The multiple grooves can be designed specifically for a job and can vary in size and style. Well-designed grooves offer excellent grip and avoid slippage.

A grooved pulley is usually made from cast iron or steel. They can also be made out of aluminum and soft alloys, but these are more likely to break. The grooved pulley is cheap to replace compared to other types of pulley.

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