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Power transmission with belts at extreme temperatures?

  1. May 10, 2009 #1
    I am a student. We are working on a design project, and long story short, we need to transmit power on the moon. We have decided on a gear system but still need to transmit from the gear output to the axles, and were considering v-belts. Does a belt exist that could operate in such extreme temperatures (~+100 to -200 degrees C)? I can't seem to find much on this, any leads to info or suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2009 #2
    Unless you are thinking about a CVT (continuously variable transmission), a chain-belt is a good substitute. Before cars had timing belts, they had steel timing chains.
  4. May 11, 2009 #3
    it isnt about the belt that exists, its about a material that can keep its strength at such a temperature range. Most materials become brittle at lower temperatures, even when they have excellent ductility at normal(earth like) temperature.

    Have you looked into any vehicle design that have been to moon? Moon rover sort of things..

    Or you can use a completely sealed unit with a heater inside to keep the temperature at normal operating range. 100 C should be okay, you should be worried about keeping the strength at sub zero temperatures.
  5. May 11, 2009 #4


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    The other issue you run into is at such low pressures you can have some materials experiencing outgassing.
  6. May 11, 2009 #5
    A metal material would probably serve best in that type of environment. Polymers and petroleum based materials typically don't like very cold temperatures and can crack and harden especially when there is no humidity. A steel chain or possibly a glass chain would work well I would think.
  7. May 11, 2009 #6


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    There are alloys such as invar that can remain dimensionally stable over a range of temperatures. That might allow you to machine the material to closer tolerances and not worry too much about binding or slop when the temperatures go extreme.
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