5 Types of Chain Drives
25th Mar 2023

Chain drives are used in power transmission to transfer rotary motion from one shaft to another. They consist of an endless series of chain links meshing with toothed sprockets for precision timing.

They transmit power from the drive shaft to the driven shaft at a constant ratio, as well as transmit motion over short center distances.

1. Roller Chain

Roller chains are the most prevalent industrial chain type and find application across many industries. They transfer power from one section of a conveyor system to the next through linked chains and sprockets.

Roller chains are an extremely standardized and specialized type of chain that uses stringent specifications in the selection of raw materials, clearances, and heat treatments to achieve desired strength and durability. As such, they’re best suited for clean indoor environments where pins and bushings can remain free from airborne dust particles and debris.

2. Silent Chain

The silent chain (also referred to as an inverted tooth chain) transmits power at high speeds while remaining soundless. This type of chain consists of flat plates stacked in rows and connected through one or more pins, increasing load-bearing capacity, tensile strength, and chain width with each link’s number of flat plates.

Silent chains have many applications, from medium to large motorcycle and automobile engines, transfer case drive in four-wheel-drive vehicles, and primary drive between engine and transmission to other high-speed tasks. Furthermore, their nonslip surface makes them suitable for conveying purposes due to their resistance to heat and friction.

3. Sprocket Chain

Sprocket chains are used in conveyor drives, printing presses, and industrial machinery to transmit movement and force from one sprocket to the next.

Sprockets come in either single or double pitch, depending on the number of teeth needed to fit between roller-pin centers on a chain. Chains with larger pitch diameters require sprockets with similar size teeth, while smaller chains with shorter distances between roller pin centers need smaller teeth.

Sprockets come in a range of materials, such as steel and aluminum. Some can be hardened for extended sprocket life, while others feature wear indicators on some teeth to alert you when replacement is necessary.

4. Idler Chain

Idler sprockets are a type of gear used in power transmission systems to maintain chain tension, change its direction or position it away from obstacles. They usually spin freely on a shaft that does not transmit power, helping reduce vibration or wear on other components.

The invention eliminates this issue by replacing the toothed-sprocket idler with a resilient roller that absorbs highs and smoothes out lows.

5. Conveyor Chain

Conveyor chains are essential tools in the transportation of goods from one location to another. Generally made out of steel, these can also be constructed out of wood or other materials.

Conveyor chains come in a range of strengths, loading capacities, and pitches. Certain varieties are better suited for certain applications than others.

Conveyor chains are typically produced to national and international standards, such as British Standard (BS) conveyor chains. Additionally, there are ISO versions available that are commonly used in Europe.

Suzhou Universal Technology produces industrial machinery parts, such as chains, sprocket wheels, transmissions, bearings, head gaskets, and more. They sell their products worldwide.

The Company strives to offer reliable and quality-driven products to customers worldwide. It offers customized solutions based on clients’ technical requirements.