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Thread: Sprocket size and chain forces

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Dec 2018

    Sprocket size and chain forces

    Hi, I'm having a little trouble wrapping my minds eye around the forces in a chain and hoping someone can verify that I'm on the right track.

    I have two sprockets, each with diameters about 3 inches (radius of 1/8th of a foot). If I am transmitting 100 lb-ft of torque then the tension in the chain would be 100/(1/8) = 800 pounds. Correct?

    Second, If I double the diameter of both sprockets to 6 inches, then I halve the force in the chain and could use a chain with half the strength, correct?

    Presumably the larger sprockets would cause the chain to be running at a lower temperature as well?

    Okay, now what happens when I'm transmitting 100 lb-ft but it is running at 6000 RPM. Would I still see half the force in the chain using the larger sprockets?

  2. #2
    Lead Engineer
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Houston TX USA
    I recommend you take a look at the below mfr's brochure where starting a on page 8 you will find the calculations for recommended chain drive selections based upon chain force, power, speed, etc, particularly because of your relatively high sprocket rpm.

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