Belt drives have long been utilized in engine applications to power accessories such as alternators, pumps, compressors and fans. Drives employing a single, flat, ‘serpentine belt’ tensioned by an ‘automatic tensioner’ are now common in automotive engine applications. The automatic tensioner helps maintain constant belt tension and to dissipate unwanted belt drive vibration through dry friction.

The objective of this study is to predict the periodic rotational response of the entire drive to harmonic excitation from the crankshaft. To this end, a multi-degree of freedom incremental harmonic balance (IHB) method is utilized to compute periodic solutions to the nonlinear equations of motion over a wide range of engine speeds. Computed results illustrate primary and secondary resonances of accessories and tensioner stick-slip motions.

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