OTIS Traction Elevator Belt Lifespan

If you are thinking of installing OTIS elevator belts, then you might be curious about the life expectancy of the steel belt. OTIS elevator traction is a standard steel belt that has a 20 year design life. This is two-to three times longer than traditional steel wire rope. A comprehensive inspection of the belt’s appearance should be done once a year during its lifetime. A comprehensive inspection of the belt’s appearance should be done after twenty years of service to determine if it is still in good condition.


Flat leaf springs are used in the Otis traction elevator. They were originally attached to cart’s roof. The spring would cause the shoes on either side to contact the notch-shaped guides at the elevator hoistway.

A safety brake would stop the hoist abruptly if it was not balanced. Otis engineers developed a new design, which is still in use today.


Otis traction belts are made from two layers of materials, the traction section 36 and the inner 42. The inner portion is made of a second material. This material is fire-resistant and makes the traction section more durable. There may be variations in the material layer thickness. It is important to remember that the traction section 36 is thicker then the rest of the belt.


Otis and Schindler Elevator Corporation are currently battling for patent rights to a patented traction belt design. Patent No. Patent No. 6,739,433 describes a tension member that reduces the buckling of an elevator’s belt. Federal court has heard claims for Otis’ traction elevator belt design. The Court heard oral and written arguments in the case, which was heard in December 2009.


Otis’ traction elevator uses a scrap standard steel belt. It has a 20-year lifespan, which is approximately two to three times that of a steel wire rope. During its lifetime, the steel belt undergoes an inspection that includes a complete look-over. A technician can manually lower the car if the belt is damaged. The safety features of the system will prevent the elevator from collapsing in the event that there is an accident.

Gen2 Switch variants

There are two types traction elevator belt systems: the standard and the generation 2 switch. The geared type is a machine that is typically mounted on top of a roof. The Gen2 Switch is powered by a single-phase 230-volt battery. The elevator can operate up to 100 times without the need of a power source. Gen2 Switch is suitable for commercial and residential buildings of all heights. It can also be used in existing buildings that do not have elevators.


Otis started manufacturing traction elevators in World War II. Otis was able to fulfill orders for rangefinders and tank components as well as elevators. Otis continued to expand internationally and was a strong presence in the Korean War. Otis had 65 percent of its business coming from overseas contracts by the 1970s. Otis is today a well-known manufacturer of escalators, elevators, and warehouse systems.

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