Denver—The ultimate test of belts and other engine components may be the Bandimere Speedway outside of Denver. It's home to a dragster competition known as the Mopar Parts event. At this year's run, driver Tony Schumacher is using a new blower belt, the Poly Chain GT2, from the Gates Rubber Co. (Denver, CO) that meets the car's extreme demands at speeds exceeding 300 mph.
Because Denver's altitude is one mile above sea level, crew chiefs must tune their cars differently to achieve the same performance as at lower altitudes. Compensating for the thinner air means switching to smaller pulleys on their superchargers to increase air volume intake. "A supercharger normally runs at more than 10,000 rpm and requires about 1,000 hp," says Brent Oman, a Gates Rubber belt engineer. "In Denver's air, supercharger speeds increase 20% or more, which requires smaller supercharger pulley and places great demand on the belt."
The Poly Chain GT2 belt has a patented fabric and tooth profile that withstands the blower's fast speeds and high horsepower requirements. The belt has a polyurethane body with Arimid fiber tensile cord and nylon tooth facing. The improved fabric and tooth profile increase belt capacity to carry horsepower more than 30% over previous blower belts. Additional applications for the belt include pulp and paper equipment, packaging machinery, food-processing equipment, and machines in steel mills and processing plants.