an earth mover using chain drive
Understanding the Chain Drive

Although some machines use rope drive and belt drive to transmit power, they face the challenge of slipping. Chain drive competes with the two and offers the advantage of avoiding slipping. It is one of the mechanical power transmission methods and comprises a continuous series of chain links referred to as a roller chain that rotates around toothed sprocket gears. Several machines use this power transmission, and the most common machine that uses it is the motorcycle.

The chain drive is also used in conveyance systems and other heavy machines, including construction equipment. If you need to buy chains for your appliances, you can visit the most reliable construction chain distributor and get the best deals on high-quality chains.

Classifications of Chain Drives

a crane using chain drive to lift loadsWhen we look at the various chain drives, we can classify them based on their applications. There are load-lifting chains whose function is suspending, lowering, or raising loads in places with material handling operations. Another type of chain is the power transmission chain that transfers power between two or more shafts. Other types of chains are referred to as the hauling chains, whose function is to move loads continuously by pulling, sliding, or carrying using a conveyor.

Advantages of Chain Drives

The chain drive type of transmission has several advantages, especially when compared with the gears and belt drives. Here are some of the benefits:

  • One chain can drive several shafts.
  • Chain drives work well in both long and short distances
  • Their working is not affected by temperature and environmental conditions
  • Their installation is relatively easy
  • They do not slip
  • Chain drives do not pose fire hazards in their usage
  • They have high efficiency, estimated to be up to 96%
  • Chain drives can withstand abrasive conditions

Disadvantages of Chain Drives

Despite the advantages of chain drives discussed above, the system has some disadvantages compared to the belt and gear drives. Here are some of the cons of chain drives:

  • They need regular lubrication.
  • Those systems that require slipping cannot use chain drives
  • Unlike gear drives, they have less load capacity
  • They are unsuitable for non-parallel shafts
  • Unlike belt drives, chain drives need precise alignment
  • The operation of chain drives is noisy and can result in vibrations

Applications of Chain Drives

You will find chain drives in use in so many machines and systems. Some of the applications of chain drives include building construction, well-drilling machines, agricultural machines and equipment, and many others.