Most Popular Types of Sprockets and Their Applications

Sprockets
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Sprockets are the main part of the chain drive. In interaction with the chain, mechanical energy is transferred. These are stamped or milled flat wheels with teeth. As a rule, in cross-section, they have a symmetrical shape about two axes, with the exception of special-purpose sprockets. Sprockets are used in many areas of mechanical engineering, weapons, aviation, agriculture, etc. Rare mechanical devices can do without gear-toothed wheel pairs in their design. 

The chain drive is one of the most common, simple and well-known gears in mechanics. It’s carried out by transferring the torque from the shaft using sprockets (leading and driven), connected by a chain. The number of teeth of the sprocket is calculated based on the speed of the sprocket. When designing a chain drive and sprockets, engineers try to use an odd number of teeth on it, with an even number on the chain itself, this makes it possible to make the gear wear more uniform.

In this guide, we explain the following details about the sprockets and their types!

What are Sprockets?

Sprockets for drive chains are profiled wheels that have teeth on the surface. These elements of the product are designed to mesh with the drive chain at the time of its operation. The features are as follows:

  • The product differs from standard gears and pulleys. At the same time, the differences are noticeable visually.
  • The shape of the tooth is characterized by the fact that it is not intended for direct engagement and contact at the time of operation.
  • In the manufacture of sprockets, metal is used, which is characterized by increased resistance to wear.
  • The main characteristic is the number of teeth. At the same time, single-row and multi-row versions are produced.
  • Such a product is widespread today, it is used as the main element in the creation of various mechanisms.

Types of Sprockets

  • Power Transmission Roller Chain

Sprockets are an incredible decision for power transmission. There are different applications, including roller chains and quiet chains, which are used for power transmission applications, including motorcycles or conveyor drives. These tools are for the most part utilized in pairs with varying tooth checks to give speed reduction like gears. However, the lone contrast is that sprocket teeth don’t mesh with one another. However, they can connect more prominent distances than any pair of mating pinion wheels could sensibly range. Sprockets are made of metal and plastic. The choice strategy of sprockets relies upon the pitch and number of teeth. 

  • Engineered Chain

Sprockets for engineered chains are indistinguishable from those toothed sprockets. These sorts of sprockets are utilized for power transmission. Nonetheless, these incorporate the more enormous scope of tooth spacings that oblige the more extended pitches, which is accessible in engineered chains. The engineered chain sprockets are very enormous in size when contrasted with power transmission sprockets. These are typically named either centre-plate variety or the spoked-arm type. The design of the centre-plate is normally more modest in size while spoked-arm types are acknowledged as bigger distances across. In this, the mass of the sprocket is a fundamental thought.

Various Applications of Sprockets

An integral part of industrial equipment, conveyors, bicycles, and cars is a chain transmission. It provides mechanical transmission between two shafts using sprockets and a chain, a flexible assembly consisting of series-connected links. Sprockets are the most important component of such a chain, it’s on them that the reliability of the adhesion of the structure as a whole depends. Thanks to this feature, designers give their preference to chain transmission. By engaging the sprocket teeth with the chain, the drive sprocket rotates to cause the driven sprocket to rotate. One drive sprocket can transmit power to several driven ones, and with different directions of rotation.

Sprockets are widely used in many areas of mechanical engineering, structures of agricultural and road machines, machine tool construction, etc. They’re used in machine tools, motorcycles, bicycles, industrial robots, drilling equipment, lifting and transport, road construction, agricultural, printing and others. machines for transferring motion between parallel shafts over long distances, when the use of gear drives is impractical, and belt drives are impossible.

Chain drives are most widely used for the transmission of powers up to 120 kW at peripheral speeds up to 15 m/s.

Which Type of Sprockets Must Use?

The design of the sprocket depends on the type of chain. In drive chains, the sprockets resemble cogwheels. In roller and bushing chains, the sprocket tooth profile is outlined by an arc. In turn, according to the method of landing on the shaft, the sprockets are divided into two groups. One group of sprockets has a rough inner hole, it’s intended for boring. And another group of sprockets sits on the shaft using the canonical bushing. Most chains have an odd number of links, so it’s recommended to use sprockets for chains with an odd number of teeth, this will ensure even wear of the entire structure if an even number of teeth is not achieved.

Particular attention is paid to the shape of the tooth. It determines that the shape of the working surface is formed by two arcs of the corresponding circles. There are also versions that have a straight profile. The cross-sectional shape depends on the number of rows of teeth.

To increase the reliability of the drive element, several rows of teeth are created. Due to this, the load is evenly distributed and it is possible to transfer more force from the driving element to the driven one.

Wrapping Up

The main attributes that help in choosing the right sprockets are chain pitch, number of teeth, diameter. The basic dimensions that give the very shape of sprockets are pitch circle diameter, the diameter of the circumference of the protrusions, and radius.

There are various manufacturers that produce and supply standard sprockets of all types, as well as non-standard ones, according to your technical specifications. So, choose one that is suitable for completing your operation. 

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