Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Firm Makes Coating to Reduce Belt Slip

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Comment | More

A company in Washington has developed a high-velocity thermal spray coating its owner says drops pulley wear on belt-driven systems to near zero.

“For years, the industry has focused on the belt,” said Jon Osborne, owner of Extreme Industrial Coatings (EIC), in a recent Spokane Journal of Business article.

“But as we did the research, what we see is that there hasn’t been an attempt to change the texture of the pulley to make it more compatible with the rubber belt,” the West Plains, WA, business owner said.

Niche Applications

Osborne told PaintSquare News that his Vulcan Grip coating—for which he currently is pursuing a patent—is aimed at serving two specific niches. One of those is for pulley systems on superchargers that frequently work at the high end of their revolutions per minute (RPM) range.

Extreme Industrial Coatings owner Jon Osborne is seeking a patent for Vulcan Grip. Osborne developed the high-velocity thermal spray coating for high-RPM pulley systems.

The other is for the all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and snowmobile industry. Those vehicles often use aluminum clutches and also work at high RPMs.

“Last winter, we did the initial concept testing (for the snowmobiles),” said Osborne. “The Vulcan grip produces so much grab that it’s not ready for street use yet because the clutch has to be redesigned.

“The fact is, these things are designed to slip like mad,” he said.

Hard, Durable Product

According to the company’s product website, the Vulcan Grip is a factory-applied, super-hard cement (ceramic-metal composite) that is similar to an asphalt road surface. The coating is so hard that it can be cut only with a diamond and is ultra-wear resistant, according to the website.

Osborne used a combine that has operated at 800 horsepower for three seasons (early spring to mid-fall each year) as an example of how well the coating works on the pulleys. Despite the hard use, the pulleys still show almost no wear three years later, he said.

The business owner said the reason for the lack of wear is not just in the coating.

“The material itself is more resistant to abrasion than steel,” said Osborne. “But if you eliminate belt slippage, you eliminate the mechanism for wear.”

Cost vs. Benefits

That durability comes at a high price. Osborne said that the cost of the thermal-spray process and coating can be between one and five times more expensive than the cost of the proprietary pulley. Depending on the number of pulleys a system has, the price can range from $450 for one pulley to as much as $24,000 for a 16-pulley, 800 horsepower harvester.

Photo courtesy Extreme Industrial Coatings/Vulcan Grip

Under a scanning electron microscope, Vulcan Grip appears to have a surface profile similar to that of an asphalt road.

The benefits, Osborne said, includes increased production; fewer replacement parts; increased up-time; and significant fuel-savings.

The Spokane Journal reported that in the case of the combine, the owner said he spent $15,000 less on diesel fuel and never experienced belt slipping in the pulley drive over 250 operating days last year.

Safety is another benefit, said Osborne. The heat and friction created when a belt slips can be a source of ignition, which can cause a fire.

“Fire is a real concern in the harvesting business,” said Osborne. “If you lose the belt, big deal, but you could avoid a fire at the same time.”

Desiring Innovation

Osborne, a central-Pennsylvania native, said he started EIC 12 years ago with the vision of bringing high-end technology to the everyday world.

“We encourage innovation in our enterprise,” he said.

That innovation is how he came upon the idea for the Vulcan Grip product, he said. The company was approached with the problem to solve. During research and development, the company looked at how Vulcanized rubber grips the surface of a metal pulley.

Osborne said the company’s challenge was to come up with a coating that gripped, but was friendly to the belt, too.

“The magic is not so much in the specific material,” he said. “It’s in the microsystems.”

Meanwhile, the Spokane Journal reported that the company, which last year had revenues “at or above $1 million,” has doubled its floor space to 7,000 and has added eight full-time workers to the company’s original two part-time employees.

Osborne told the business publication that he hopes the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will notify him early next year regarding whether his patent will be approved or not.


Tagged categories: Coating Materials; Coatings; Coatings Technology; Coatings technology; North America; Research and development; Thermal spray

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Sauereisen, Inc.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office

SAFE Systems, Inc.


Tarps manufacturing, Inc.

DeFelsko Corporation


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us