Sheave Diameter Calculator

Sheave Diameter Calculator

Created by Team y2calculate

Content written by Jane (Ph.D.)

Coding and design by Marcelino (Ms)

Reviewed by David (Ph.D.)

Fact checked πŸ”βœ“

Published: January 20, 2024 β†’ Last Updated: February 5, 2024

Table of Contents

What is Sheave Diameter calculator

A sheave diameter calculator is a tool or software designed to calculate the diameter of a sheave or pulley based on Belt Speed (feet per minute) and RPM (revolutions per minute) input parameters. A sheave, also known as a pulley, is a wheel with a groove that is used with a belt or a rope to change the direction of force applied. The diameter of the sheave is a crucial parameter in various mechanical systems and applications.

How to use Sheave Diameter calculator

The sheave diameter calculator is design to calculate the diameter of sheave, just enter the belt speed in feet per minute and revolution per minute. click the calculate button, The calculator will calculate the diameterΒ  of sheave.

Formula for calculating sheave diameter



  • is the sheave diameter in feet.
  • is the belt speed in feet per minute.
  • is a mathematical constant approximately equal to 3.14159.
  • is the revolutions per minute.

​In order to calculate the sheave Diameter, Multiply

How to calculate Sheave diameter

The formula to calculate sheave diameter depends on the specific parameters of your mechanical system, particularly the speed, torque, and belt characteristics. Here are a couple of common formulas:

  1. Belt Speed and Velocity Ratio:

    The velocity ratio (VR) is the ratio of the driven sheave diameter (D2) to the driving sheave diameter (D1). The belt speed (V) can be calculated using the following formula:


    • is the belt speed,
    • is the diameter of the driving sheave,
    • is the diameter of the driven sheave,
    • is the rotational speed of the driving sheave in revolutions per minute (RPM).
  2. Torque Transmission:

    The torque (T) transmitted by the sheave can be calculated using the following formula:


    • is the torque transmitted,
    • is the sheave diameter,
    • is the force applied by the belt.

    Note: The actual force may need to be determined based on the specific design and characteristics of your system.

why do we need to calculate sheave diameter

Calculating sheave diameter is an important aspect in Many mechanical systems, especially those involving pulleys and belts. The sheave diameter is the diameter of the wheel or pulley around which a flexible material, such as a belt or rope, is wrapped. Here are some reasons why calculating sheave diameter is necessary:

  1. Belt Speed and Velocity Ratio: The diameter of the sheave affects the speed of the belt or rope. In systems with multiple pulleys or sheaves, the diameter ratio between the driving and driven sheaves determines the velocity ratio. This is crucial for achieving the desired speed or power transmission in a mechanical system.

  2. Belt Tension: Sheave diameter is related to belt tension. The tension in the belt is influenced by the curvature around the sheave. Smaller sheave diameters may result in higher belt tensions, affecting the overall performance and efficiency of the system.

  3. Bearing Loads: The sheave diameter impacts the load on the bearings of the pulley or sheave. Smaller diameters can lead to increased bearing loads, potentially affecting the lifespan and efficiency of the bearings. Properly sizing the sheave diameter helps distribute loads more evenly.

  4. Torque Transmission: The torque transmitted between the sheave and the belt depends on the diameter. The larger the sheave diameter, the higher the torque transmission capacity. This is important for ensuring that the system can handle the required mechanical power without slipping or failing.

  5. Belt Life and Wear: The sheave diameter influences the bending and flexing of the belt. Improper sheave sizing can lead to increased wear and reduced lifespan of the belt. Calculating the correct sheave diameter helps in optimizing the design for longevity and efficient power transmission.

  6. System Efficiency: Properly sized sheaves contribute to the overall efficiency of the mechanical system. Inaccurate sheave diameters may result in energy losses, decreased system performance, and increased maintenance requirements.

  7. Alignment and Tracking: Sheave diameter affects the alignment and tracking of the belt or rope. Proper alignment is essential for preventing unnecessary wear and ensuring smooth operation. Incorrect sheave diameters can lead to misalignment issues.

Some example

Question: If the belt speed (BS) is 20 feet per minute and the revolutions per minute (RPM) is 50, then what is the diameter?

To calculate the sheave diameter (D) with a belt speed (BS) of 20 feet per minute and revolutions per minute (RPM) of 50, you can use the formula:

Substitute the given values:



Therefore, the approximate sheave diameter would be 0.1274 feet or approximately 1.53 inches.

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