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The chain drive is one of the mechanisms through which power is transmitted mechanically from an engine to the wheels via an endless rotating chain. You probably had seen a tractor comprised of big chains. These massive chains are responsible for transmitting power and kinetic energy (energy in motion) via the rotational movements of the chains. The rate of rotation of these chains results in the speed level of the machine. Apart from the tractor, some of the other mechanisms of power transmission that uses chain drive technology include:
An exmple of roller Chain
Image Credit: The Engineers Post
Note: A chain drive consists of an endless chain running over two sprockets.
Think of the sprockets as toothed wheels over which an endless rotational chain is fitted.
The chain; often called; roller chain or drive chain or transmission chain is used to convey power over two sprocket wheels with its edged teeth meshing with the holes at the center of the chain.
Note: Chain drives are employed or utilized in diverse areas; some of which include:
Base on the utilization/uses of the chain drive, they can be easily classified into three types:
The roller chains are very common since they are used in bicycles, motorcycles and vehicle engines. They are made up of a series of small cylindrical rollers attached together at both sides of its entire length. The roller chain requires the sprockets in order to transmit mechanical power. Roller chains can be single-stranded or multiple-stranded.
See the Roller chain image above
The single-stranded roller chain is very common and its power rating capacity can cover a variety of drive load requirements.
Multiple-roller chain provides and increased power capacity without any need for an increase in the chain's rotational speed.
Also called the inverted tooth chains, the silent chains are series of toothed link plates that are attached to one another in a pin-like manner that allows for free flexing of the chains.
Image Credit: Ramsey Chain
Note: It is difficult to connect together the silent chains from different manufacturers.
Silent chains operate with reduced noise levels and can transform more loads and at a higher speed than a roller chain of the same width.
They are preferably used in industrial equipment where quietness, silence and smoothness are required.
They are preferable used for lifting processes rather than power transmission. They don’t need meshing with sprocket sockets because they are made to run over sheaves.
Image Credit: HKK Chain
Leaf chains are commonly utilized in trucks that lift large and heavy loads
The flat-top chains are manufactured for the purpose of conveying materials; thus are widely used in conveyors. They consist of plates made up of steel with hinge-like barrels curled on each side with pins inserted into the barrels to create joints acting as both beams and bearings.
Image Credit: Direct Conveyors
The connecting pins in a flat-top chain are usually enlarged or knurled at one end, giving rise to its continuous length.
Detachable chains are made up of similar links that can be easily detached from one another. Each of the link comprise of a hook-shaped end in which adjacent articulation occur. They will usually transmit power at lower speed.
Image Credit: Odesie
Detachable chains can be easily assembled and disassembled by pulling up the slack and flexing the links, then sliding a link sideways.
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