Chain Drive

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chain drive

[′chān ‚drīv]
(mechanical engineering)
A flexible device for power transmission, hoisting, or conveying, consisting of an endless chain whose links mesh with toothed wheels fastened to the driving and driven shafts.

Chain Drive


a mechanism in which mechanical energy is transmitted over a distance by a chain that engages sprockets.

Chain drives are classified according to various criteria: the design of the chains used, the number of sprockets (simple drives with two sprockets and complex drives with three or more sprockets, including one or more driven and idler sprockets for tensioning), the direction of rotation of the driven sprockets (direct, or forward, and reverse), the spatial arrangement of the chain (vertical loops, horizontal loops, and sprockets with crossed axes), the disposition of the line joining the sprocket centers (horizontal, vertical, and oblique), the disposition of the leading or working strand (above or below), the conversion mode of the rotational speed of the drive shaft (reduction or step-up), the number of chain contours in parallel, the means used to adjust chain tension, the means used to protect the chains from contamination (open or protected with leather, housings, or casings), the method of lubrication (manual lubrication for chain velocities up to 2 m per second, drip lubrication for velocities up to 6 m per second, oil baths for velocities up to 8 m per second, and lubrication by means of an oil-circulation system for velocities in excess of 8 m per second), and layout (built-in chain drives for machines and chain reduction gears).

The widespread use of chain drives began with the introduction of pintle chains with bushings and precision roller chains that permit powers up to 5,000 kilowatts to be transmitted at high chain velocities (up to 35 m per second) and high forces (up to 70,000 kg-force, or 700 meganewtons, in chain drives having several parallel, multistrand chains), with a substantial number of gear ratios (up to 12 for a single chain drive), and with high efficiency (up to 0.99). Under particularly light-duty operating conditions (low velocities and light loads), open-hook chains may be used.

Drive chains are versatile, simple, and economical. In comparison with gear drives, they are less sensitive to shaft misalignment and impact loads, they permit almost unlimited distances between centers, and they afford a simpler layout. Compared with belt drives, they have several advantages: there is no slippage, and the average gear ratio is constant; there is no preliminary tensioning or the extra shaft and bearing loads associated with it; large amounts of power may be transmitted at both high and low velocities; satisfactory operation is maintained at high and low temperatures; and the drive may accommodate any design changes by the removal or addition of links.

Chain drives have several disadvantages: the nonuniformity of chain motion, which increases with a reduction in the number of sprocket teeth and an increase in the pitch; high noise and chain wear when the wrong design is chosen, the assembly is careless, or the maintenance is poor; and the necessity for lubrication and for taking up slack in the idling leg as the chain wears.

Chain drives are used for agricultural machinery, bicycles, motorcycles, motor vehicles, and construction and reading machines, as well as for equipment used in the petroleum industry. The most common chain drives are open types operating without lubrication or with only periodic manual lubrication, using single-strand roller chains directly built into machines.


References in periodicals archive ?
In 1884, Defiance was among the first cycle firms to make a chain-driven bike outside Coventry, and at Easter, Arthur Williams set out on a trip from Glanaman to Swansea and back on the chain-driven bicycle he and his brother had built.
A larger 20-mm shaft diameter for better torque transmission for sizes 2L and 3 belt- and chain-driven systems.
Manufacturing has also been simplified, cutting the lead-time that was required for the chain-driven design.
6, 2005 Nature in which the researchers unveiled the chain-driven red-blood cell, they also reported using it to confirm theoretical predictions correlating viscosity, tail elasticity, and other factors to speeds of spermatozoa in a saline solution.
It is the first automatic transmission from Ford to use a chain-driven off-axis pump with optimized porting.
Morning was traditionally reserved for a chain-driven ferry ride across the Kalamazoo, followed by a stroll along the plank piers.
It is ideal for soft starts in accumulating, chain-driven live-roller, or in-line material handling conveyor applications.
This is why Barber's imagined threat of monocultural, chain-driven sprawl across the face of the planet will never materialize.
A new series of chain-driven roller accumulation conveyors has been brought by Excel Conveyors of Gregory's Bank, Worcester, tel:0190 572 1500.
John F Fiedler, chairman and CEO, says this growth will be driven by three factors: market trends that are expected to produce a dramatic increase in the application of automated shifting transmissions; significantly increased use of turbochargers and chain-driven engine timing systems; and increases in sales of all-wheel drive vehicles.
The chain-driven slat conveyor, climbing at a gentle angle of 9 degrees, looked completely out of place among the big iron of nearby vendors showing single-grip or traditional belt conveyers.
But chain-driven burger broilers account for just 4 percent of that pollution, emitting just a half-ton of particulates a day.