Roller Chains Review

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Roller Chains Review

Roller chains are used to transmit mechanical energy between sprockets in power transmission applications. Common applications which use roller chains are bicycles, motorcycles, and conveyor systems used within industry.

Roller chains are constructed into a series of alternating assembled roller links and pin links in which the pins articulate inside the bushings and the rollers are free to turn on their bushings. Pins and bushings are press fit into their respective side plates. Chains may be single strand having one row of roller links, or multiple strands having more than one strand of roller links and having center plates locating the multiple strands of roller links. Roller chains are also available in multiple strands joined together by a common pin, giving more shear area for high demand power transmission in a limited space.

Roller chain performance is governed by a number of mechanical factors, these include: tensile strength, yield strength of which is around 65% of the ultimate tensile strength, lubrication, wear, fatigue, maintenance, and installation accuracy.

Industry standard roller chains are available by Both ISO and ANSI for single, double or more pitch, and bush chain forms. ANSI/ASME B29.1M-1993 is used for precision power transmission roller chains, attachments, and sprockets. ISO standard DIN 8187 cover three versions: Simplex, Duplex, Triplex. The range of pitch sizes vary from 4mm to 114.3mm. ISO 606 also covers selected roller chain sizes. Other standards include:

  • ISO 1392 for Short pitch bush chain and sprockets.
  • ISO 1275 and ANSI B29.3M for double pitch roller chain sprockets
  • ISO 9633 Cycle chains
  • ISO 10190 Motorcycle chains
  • ISO 3512 Cranked link chain and sprockets
  • ISO 4347 and B29.8M Leaf chain, clevises and sheaves
  • ANSI B29.24M Roller load chains for overhead hoists