Timing Belt Pulley Materials - Things to Consider

timing belt pulley materialsChoosing the right construction material for a timing belt pulley can have dramatic repercussions. When designing a pulley you want a product that is reliable, has a long operation life, and is cost effective. Often, to achieve the desired results, that means there are two options for construction material: plastic or metal.

Nylon Vs. Aluminum


  • Lightweight
  • Inertia control
  • Energy saving
  • Chemical resistance
  • Material cost savings
  • No coating to avoid oxidation


  • Lightweight (heavier than nylon)
  • Durable
  • Resistance to heat
  • High tensile strength

Download the Nylon vs. Metal Pulley WhitepaperWhen is Aluminum Preferable?

One of the main reasons for choosing aluminum as a material is its high tensile strength, making it ideal is high horsepower drive systems. Nylon, however, has a lower tensile strength than aluminum or steel but it is still sufficient for low horsepower drive systems.

One of the other most common reasons for turning to aluminum over nylon is its temperature resistance. In high temperature applications aluminum is preferable to nylon because aluminum has a higher temperature at which the belt will fail. 

Why Choose Nylon?

Because of advancements in plastics technology, nylon is often a viable alternative to aluminum. While not all applications are equally served by nylon, nylon often offers a cost-effective alternative to heavier, more expensive aluminum pulleys.

The Best of Both Worlds

Both nylon and aluminum have properties that make then ideal materials for timing belt pulleys, which is why combining the two is often the preferable construction method. Molded synchronous drive pulleys from Torque Transmission are reinforced with metal inserts to offer the lightweight advantages of plastic.  This design also delivers the benefits of a metal-to-metal connection at the hub. Using pulleys in combination with the metal insert and lightweight plastic yields a high strength-to-weight ratio and low inertia resulting in longer life and better quality for your products.

Available Timing Pulleys:

XL 1/5" pitch timing belt pulleys
L 3/8" pitch timing belt pulleys
HTD 3mm5mm8mm pitch timing pulleys
Custom Design Timing Belt Pulleys

  • Molded high strength, glass reinforced nylon
  • Lightweight
  • Low Inertia
  • Cost Effective
  • Long Life
  • Strong
  • Quiet
  • Chemical and Shock Resistant
  • Single, double, or no flange
  • Belts available
  • Made in the USA

Custom Timing Pulleys

In addition to the standard timing pulleys we offer, we can modify a standard timing belt pulley or create a custom design for your special applications. Samples of our standard pulleys are available for test purposes and prototypes. Please contact us for more details.

Download our Product Catalog

This post was published on February 11, 2014 and updated on March 13, 2020.

Topics: Torque Topics Pulleys