A belt is a loop of flexible material used to link two or more rotating shafts mechanically, most often parallel. Belts may be used as a source of motion, to transmit power efficiently or to track relative movement. Belts are looped over pulleys and may have a twist between the pulleys, and the shafts need not be parallel.

Flat belt
Flat belt drive in the machine shop at the Hagley Museum

In a two pulley system, the belt can either drive the pulleys normally in one direction (the same if on parallel shafts), or the belt may be crossed, so that the direction of the driven shaft is reversed (the opposite direction to the driver if on parallel shafts). The belt drive can also be used to change the speed of rotation, either up or down, by using different sized pulleys.

As a source of motion, a conveyor belt is one application where the belt is adapted to carry a load continuously between two points.

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