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3/19/2017 NotesonSprocketsandChains

NotesonSprocketsandChains
Asprocketisatoothedwheeluponwhichachainrides.Contrarytopopularopinion,asprocketisnota
gear.

ChainConstruction
Chainshaveasurprisingnumberofparts.Therollerturnsfreelyonthebushing,whichisattachedon
eachendtotheinnerplate.Apinpassesthroughthebushing,andisattachedateachendtotheouter
plate.Bicyclechainsomitthebushing,insteadusingthecircularridgeformedaroundthepinholeofthe
innerplate.

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ChainDimensions
Chaintypesareidentifiedbynumberie.anumber40chain.Therightmostdigitis0forchainofthe
standarddimensions1forlightweightchainand5forrollerlessbushingchain.Thedigitstotheleft
indicatethepitchofthechainineighthsofaninch.Forexample,anumber40chainwouldhaveapitchof
foureighthsofaninch,or1/2",andwouldbeofthestandarddimensionsinwidth,rollerdiameter,etc.

Therollerdiameteris"nearestbinaryfraction"(32ndofaninch)to5/8thsofthepitchpindiameterishalf
ofrollerdiameter.Thewidthofthechain,for"standard"(0series)chain,isthenearestbinaryfractionto
5/8thsofthepitchfornarrowchains(1series)widthis41%ofthepitch.Sprocketthicknessis
approximately8590%oftherollerwidth.

Platethicknessis1/8thofthepitch,except"extraheavy"chain,whichisdesignatedbythesuffixH,and
is1/32"thicker.

ANSIStandardChainDimensions

ChainNo. Pitch RollerDiameter RollerWidth Sprocketthickness WorkingLoad


25 1/4" 0.130" 1/8" 0.110" 140lbs
35 3/8" 0.200" 3/16" 0.168" 480lbs
40 1/2" 5/16" 5/16" 0.284" 810lbs
41 1/2" 0.306" 1/4" 0.227" 500lbs
50 5/8" 0.400" 3/8" 0.343" 1400lbs
60 3/4" 15/32" 1/2" 0.459" 1950lbs
80 1" 5/8" 5/8" 0.575" 3300lbs

BicycleandMotorcycleChainDimensions
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ChainNo. Pitch RollerDiameter RollerWidth Sprocketthickness


Bicycle,withDerailleur 1/2" 5/16" 1/8" 0.110"
Bicycle,withoutDerailleur 1/2" 5/16" 3/32" 0.084"
420 1/2" 5/16" 1/4" 0.227"
425 1/2" 5/16" 5/16" 0.284"
428 1/2" 0.335" 5/16" 0.284"
520 5/8" 0.400" 1/4" 0.227"
525 5/8" 0.400" 5/16" 0.284"
530 5/8" 0.400" 3/8" 0.343"
630 3/4" 15/32" 3/8" 0.343"

SelectingaChain
Twofactorsdeterminetheselectionofachaintheworkingloadandtherpmofthesmallersprocket.The
workingloadsetsalowerlimitonpitch,andthespeedsetsanupperlimit.

MaximumPitch=(900rpm)2/3

Thesmallerthepitch,thelessnoise,wear,andmechanicallosseswillbeexperienced.

Sprockets
Therearefourtypesofsprocket

TypeA:PlainPlatesprockets
TypeB:Hubononeside
TypeC:Hubonbothsides
TypeD:Detachablehub

Sprocketsshouldbeaslargeaspossiblegiventheapplication.Thelargerasprocketis,thelessthe
workingloadforagivenamountoftransmittedpower,allowingtheuseofasmallerpitchchain.
However,chainspeedsshouldbekeptunder1200feetperminute.

Thedimensionsofasprocketcanbecalculatedasfollows,wherePisthepitchofthechain,andNisthe
numberofteethonthesprocket

PitchDiameter=Psin(180N)

OutsideDiameter=P(0.6+cot(180N))

Sprocketthickness=0.93RollerWidth0.006"

ProceedureforLayingOutaSprocket
Thefirstthingyouneedtoknowtolayoutasprocketisthedimensionsofthechainwhichistorunupon
it,specificallythepitch,rollerdiameter,andtherollerwidthofthechain.Thesecondthingyouneedto
knowisthenumberofteethinthesprocket,whichwilldependentirelyonyourapplication.Fromthese
numbers,theoutsidediameterandthicknessoftherequiredblankcanbecalculated.

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You'llalsoneedtoknowtheanglebetweenteeththisissimplythe360dividedbythenumberofteeth.

1.Startbydrawinga
threeradiallines
fromthecenterofthe
blanktotheedge,
separatedbyanangle
equaltotheangle
betweenteeth.

2.Drawlinesparallel
totheselines,ata
distanceequaltothe
pitchofthechain.

3.Arollerwillbe
locatedateach
intersectionofthe
parallellinesandthe
pitchcircle.Drawa
circleequaltothe
rollerdiameterofthe
chain.

4.Drawlines
betweentheroller
centers.
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5.Drawcircles
aroundtheroller
centers,thatpass
throughthe
intersectionofthe
otherrollerandthe
linebetweencenters.

6.Thetoothprofile
isasshown.

Thesprocketteethareusuallytruncatedonechainpitchabovethebottomoftheseatthisisnotshown
here.Notethatthisshapeisnottheonlyonethatwillworkbicyclesinparticularusevarioustooth
shapesfordifferentcircumstances.

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Application
Sprocketsshouldbeaccuratelyalignedinacommonverticalplane,withtheiraxesparallel.Chainshould
bekeptcleanandwelllubricatedwithathin,lightbodiedoilthatwillpenetratethesmallclearances
betweenpinsandbushings.

Centerdistanceshouldnotbelessthan1.5timesthediameterofthelargersprocket,norlessthan30times
thechainpitch,andshouldnotexceed60timesthechainpitch.Centerdistanceshouldbeadjustableone
chainpitchissufficientandfailingthisanidlersprocketshouldbeusedtoadjusttension.Alittleslackis
desirable,preferablyonthebottomsideofthedrive.

Thechainshouldwrapatleast120aroundthedrivesprocket,whichrequiresaratioofnomorethan3.5
to1forgreaterratios,anidlersprocketmayberequiredtoincreasewrapangle.

References:
TheCompleteChainGuide
RyleSprocket

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03/19/201713:58:41

2003W.E.Johns

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