Eco drive belts use sustainable materials

ContiTech has developed an eco-friendly industrial V-belt which it claims is actually better than traditional V-belts made from non-renewable materials.

The new Conti-V Pioneer drive belt is part of the company's BlueConcept programme, which aims to reduce energy consumption and waste, and substitute natural and renewable materials – in this case, vegetable oil, natural rubber and cotton - for synthetic ones.

In addition, the V-belt – which has been two years in development and is coloured blue “to represent the environment” - has no carbon black, yet is still conductive to ISO 1813,  claimed Karl Weindinger of ContiTech's power transmission group. Conductivity is needed to avoid static build-up, he added.

Weindinger would not explain how conductivity was achieved using natural materials: “That's what our competitors want to know,” he said. “But we talk about kilohms for this belt, not megohms, because its antistatic properties are so good.”

He said that ContiTech – which is the technology development arm of Continental, best known for its tyres - is well aware of the difficulties involved in taking eco products to an industrial market that is very conservative in many respects.

“We thought a V-belt would be a small start,” he said. “It is just as durable as conventional wrapped V-belts, if not better. It is slightly more expensive, but we are working to make it the same price, and in the long run cheaper.”

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