We know that belt drives are limited in their max possible power rating and most high power/torque applications(trucks) use gear drives.

I wanted to know the main factor that limits the power/torque rating of belts.

Is it Frictional slip or Belt material?

If the frictional slip could be eliminated somehow(assume), are the materials used for belts currently, capable of handling high torques and power applications?

Is the material limitation the reason for the introduction of steel belts(where friction is still present)?

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    Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I don't have a direct answer for you, but would suggest the belt material is the factor of the frictional slip. Rubber based belts (or even Kevlar) is used because they are flexible. As far as how much can the belt hold, I had an alternator seize once on a Chevrolet 350ci engine. When that happened, the belt held enough to kill the engine ... stopped it dead in its tracks. It was a serpentine belt, which has a lot more surface area than does a v-belt, but they can hold quite a bit, nonetheless. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 2:52
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 thank you!! That must be hell of a grip! According to you, what do you say about using belt drive for transmissions with power rating of a typical dual axel trucks? Assuming that slip is not a problem or assume that it is eliminated, can present belt materials withstand that ratings?
    – Yaksha
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 3:03
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Was the 350ci running on a truck? Sorry i don't know much about engines ;)
    – Yaksha
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 3:08
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    There are a few different types of V belts with much different strengths. Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 4:14
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a duplicate here : engineering.stackexchange.com/q/18608/10902
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Dec 29, 2017 at 20:37


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