Chain Drivers: Types, Applications, Advantages & Disadvantages

What are Chain Drivers?

Chain drivers are the most used mechanical power transmission devices. The main function of the chain drivers is to enable power transmission between two components at a great distance. Just like shaft couplings, belt drivers, and lead screws, chain drivers are necessary for power transmission. To transport power from one device to another, chain drivers are necessary.

Chain Drivers

In a chain driver, there are two or more sprockets, the chain, and the holes in the chain links fit through the sprocket teeth. As the prime mover rotates, the chain wrapped around the shaft also rotates. This rotation applies a mechanical force to the shaft, which transmits mechanical power. While chain drivers are used for component devices at a great distance, they are suitable for small center distances.

However, in exceptional cases, a chain driver can be used up to 8 meters, transmitting up to 100kw power. Below are the types and application processes of chain drivers to know.

Types of Chain Drivers

There are several different chain drivers. They are all designed specifically for varied mechanical applications. That’s to say; there are chains made for short and long-distance applications. The same chain driver that works on a bicycle cannot be applied to a 5-story high marine engine.

The following are the major types of chain drivers:

1) Power transmission chain drive

It is the chain driver used for transmitting mechanical power between two shafts. It’s referred to as power transmission chains because transmission systems convey power differently. They are found primarily on bicycles, compressors, and many other engines. This type of chain is classified into two: blockchain and roller chains.

2) Conveyor chain drive

There are hundreds of varied designs and sports features of conveyor chain drivers to be considered when surfing through different types of chain drivers. Their chain drives are explicitly crafted for material transportation. They are chain drivers found in engines used in production and manufacturing companies. Conveyor chains are classified into: detachable or hook joint and closed-end pintle-type conveyor chains.

3) Hoisting and hauling chain drive

This chain drive is used in machines for lifting and lowering equipment. With this type of chain, an engine can lift items with great weight with little effort. You find this type of chain in machines used in car garages, workshops, construction sites, and many more. Just like certain innovations help you trade crypto safely, this drive also helps you lift weight safely.

Also, hoisting and hauling chains are divided into oval and stud link chains. Below are the different types of chains used inside chain drivers;

  • Engineering steel chain
  • Flat-top chain
  • Leaf chain
  • Silent or inverted tooth chain
  • Roller or brush roller chain

Applications of Chain Drivers

The application of chain drivers differs and they are used for various purposes, which include;

  • Chain drivers are applied when there’s a need for mechanical power transmission from one device to another.
  • Chain drivers are the objects used for hauling loads and carrying heavy-duty materials.
  • Chain drivers are used in woodworking machinery.
  • Chain drivers are applied to racing engines, 4-wheel drive vehicles, industrial blowers, and rock crushers.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Chain Drivers

Chain drivers have their advantages and disadvantages associated with them.

Advantages of Chain Drivers

  • Chain drivers are low maintenance in nature
  • Their efficiency level is up to 97%
  • Chain drivers operate effectively even in wet conditions
  • They can withstand various abrasive conditions
  • Chain drivers are easily installed
  • There are no initial tensions required for chain drivers
  • Chain drivers withstand fire hazards
  • They require less space compared to belt drive
  • Chain drivers produce less stress on the shaft
  • Chain drivers are better mechanical power transmitters than belt drivers
  • They operate efficiently and effectively in high temperature
  • They help reverse drives
  • The speed ratio of chain drivers is better than belt drivers.

Disadvantages of Chain Drivers

  • Chain drivers require regular lubrication; otherwise, they get rust
  • Chain drivers need to be housed and not left in the open
  • They cannot be helpful in précised motion requirements
  • Their noise creates a vibration problem
  • They have high initial installation costs
  • The velocity of fluctuation is greater


Chain drivers are helpful for several purposes. But, the chief of their use is in transmitting mechanical power from device to device. However, the use of chain drivers abounds.

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