Casting Materials Types for Belt Drive Systems

The main factors that go into selecting materials for belt hardware include cost effectiveness, the performance desired as well as the number of Nordson parts required.

In this guide, we will discuss various materials available these days that go into making belt drive hardware for automotive, garden equipment and other heavy machinery.

nordson parts

Gray Iron

The name gray iron comes from the fact that this casting material actually has a grayish color owing to a higher number of graphite flakes and carbon present in it. It is a highly popular casting material having following properties:

  • It can be cast into any desired shape
  • It offers high resistance to wear and tear
  • It allows for maximum heat dissipation
  • It has a low elasticity modulus
  • It has high machinability

Owing to these factors, the material finds use in agriculture equipment components, construction tools and automotive parts. Gray Iron also comes in two classes: 30B and 40B with max allowable rim speeds of 6500 and 7500fpm respectively.

Ductile Iron

Another highly popular material as far as casting materials for belt drives go is ductile iron. This offers improved strength over the aforementioned Gray iron and has its graphite components in its nodules. This also gives it the name Nodular iron and it has following characteristics:

  • Extreme toughness with high tensile strength
  • Very machinable
  • High ductility
  • Castable in many different shapes

Ductile iron, thanks to its features, finds use in lawn and garden machines, agro equipment, automotive parts, railroad construction work, and all kinds of heavy machines. Ductile Iron is also available in 2 different grades with 8000 and 9000fpm rim speeds.


Naturally we cannot list casting materials without mentioning steel which is an alloy of iron and carbon. Stainless steel is an exception in this as it is an alloy of Iron, Chromium and Nickel. Thus, steels can fall in 3 different categories namely, Carbon steel, alloy steel and stainless steel.

Alloy steels are extremely hard as they contain elements that make it easier for the original material to be heat treated making them harder. Commonly, alloys like manganese, chromium and molybdenum are added to increase the strength. The properties of different steels differ based on the kinds of alloys added. Steels also come in varying grades and the yield tensile strength differs based on these variations lying in the range of 53,700 to 84,800 psi. The Rim speeds also vary from 9000 to 11000 fps.

Sintered Steel

This type of casting material involves high tensile strengths but also higher costs. It also comes in 2 different grades with yield strengths varying from 5K to 55K psi. It is seen in power tools, firearms, automotive components and even office and computer equipment.

Salient features of sintered steel are:

  • Good recyclability
  • Can be modified into complex shapes
  • Good surface finish


As far as light weight casting materials are concerned, aluminum is excellent for making pulleys, Sprockets (especially die cast motorcycle rear wheel sprockets), office and household equipment etc.. It is available in 3 different grades and it is very important to consider the application, the desired service life and the kind of environment (abrasive or corrosive etc) when using aluminum to make sprockets and pulleys etc.


Lightweight, non corrosive and low cost when used in high volumes, plastic can be further reinforced using fiberglass to make polycarbonates and nylons for use in power transmission systems. However, like aluminum, plastic should be avoided in abrasive and corrosive environments as well as for heavy loads.

In Conclusion

The material you use for belt drive components must be chosen carefully based on the kind of performance needed as well as the environment it will be used in.

For more information on belt drive system materials, click here.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Be the first to leave a reply

Leave a Reply