Goodyear Introduces ‘Self-Healing’ ATV Drive Belt
(Akron/Tire Review) Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s Engineered Products division has introduced a new “self-healing” ATV drive belt that contains carbon fibre. The drive belt – called Goodyear Gatorback Sport – is the first continuously variable transmission (CVT) belt with carbon-fiber reinforcement in its body construction, according to Loren Danhauer, chief belt engineer for the Goodyear unit.
“Threadlike strands of carbon fibre are strong and flexible and weigh much less than steel of similar strength,” said Danhauer. “The fibre alignment in the rubber compound provides added stiffness across the width of the belt.”
Danhauer further explained that conventional CVT-belt sidewalls can glaze and char from heat buildup when engaged with pulleys under extreme loads. Materials from the top width of the belt then turn down and inward, creating vibrations that can destroy the belt, he said.
“Gatorback Sport regulates itself under extreme events,” said Danhauer. “Its carbon fibre in the rubber compound allows the desired edge slippage without losing top width. When extreme demand subsides, the belt self-heals and again picks up the load.”
While Gatorback Sport’s lateral strength comes from carbon fibre, its longitudinal strength comes from Goodyear Flexten aramid cords traveling the circumference of the belt, according to Goodyear, which minimize stretch, stabilize overall length and maximize horsepower transmission. “It adds up to predictable tension performance,” said Danhauer, “and tension is as important to belts as air pressure is to tyres.”
Gatorback Sport’s top width range is 17 to 35 millimeters, or 0.68 to 1.37 inches, while its length range is 679 to 1,106 millimeters, or 26.75 to 43.56 inches.