12. Material loss − EPDM belts
Appearance: Belts made from a material known as chloroprene show traditional signs of wear (cracks, chunk-outs, rib separation, etc). EPDM belts don't necessarily exhibit these symptoms even though they might be at or near failure as much of the rubber material has worn away.
Cause: EPDM is stronger, is suitable for a wider range of extreme temperatures, and it is more durable. EPDM belts gradually lose rubber material − similar to the way tyres wear out.
Solution: Visual inspection is still a good idea, but don’t just look for the traditional signs of wear. Look closely at the belt ribs to detect an EPDM belt that is near failure.