Chain & Sprocket System [Complete Details]

Chain & Sprocket System:- A sprocket is  basically a toothed wheel which fits onto the shaft. It is prevent from rotation on to the shaft by the keyways in the shaft and sprocket.

Chain & Sprocket System
Chain & Sprocket System

A chain is used to connect two sprocket  each other with them, one sprocket is called the driver sprocket and the other one is called driven sprocket. Transmission of force and motion via over the chain to the one sprocket to another one, so therefore from one shaft to another shaft. Transmission of force and motion via chain to one sprocket to another one  this process is called the power transmission chains.


  • Roller chains general standard purpose most often applicable in the industry.
  • High performance roller chains having good efficient in construction as well as operation process. These roller chains are better than the general standard purpose roller chains.
  • Lube free chains these chain can be used even without lubrication ( lubricants).
  • Corrosion resistant chains that prevent the chain from getting corrode from surrounding ( environment).
  • specialty chains, Type 1. used as bicycle chains, motor cycle chains, automotive chains
  • specialty chains, Type 2. including miniature chains, leaf chains and inverted tooth chain, i.e. silent chains.

These are most often roller type chains. Roller chains are consist of link plates & pin that used to join or fix the link plates with pins inclusive of rollers and brushes.

Types of Chains

1. Leaf Chains

leaf chains are the simple types of chain constructed of steel having following component as link plates and pins. Leaf chain are better in terms of tensile strength and stronger than the roller chains described above. Leaf chains don’t have roller parts they have link plates joined with the help of pins. Lubrication of the leaf chains is must at fixed or different interval of time & these chains are used for low speed related application.
Leaf chains usually operates (or runs) over the sheaves which is basically as similar to the pulleys.

2. Special Chains

Special chains are variation of basic link & pin system of chains. This modification makes the chain suitable for application such as elevator. Every second link in chain saw having a special link that cut timber.

Advantages of chain system

An advantage of chains drives over the belt drives is that there is no chance of slipping of chains over the sprockets. So that combination of chain & sprockets provides a non slip drive ( i.e, teeth of the sprocket saves the chain drive from slippage). Toothed belt and drives are used typically to avoid slip of drive likes of timing belt in an I.C engine.

Disadvantages of chain system

  • The main disadvantage of this system is that it can be noisy and expensive from commercial point of view than the pulleys and drive system. In drilling machines & lathes operation chain & sprocket system not used because it doesn’t allow grip. Chain & sprocket system should use where slip is not allowed.
  • Bicycle & motorcycle.
  • Elevators and escalators.
  • Cam shaft drives in an I.C engine.

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