The Ultimate List of Reasons Why You Need Roller Chain

Roller chains are the main system and beneficial for transferring power into dispatching products. The productivity of any company depends on the performance of the roller chain. Unanticipated stretch in the roller chain due to wear will negatively impact productivity and increase the cost if avoided replacing on time. The lubrication quality and immediate maintenance can prolong the durability of the roller chain. While purchasing such components, considering various factors can maximize the drive’s service life and minimize operational costs.

The roller chain is an integral part of the chain drive, which also includes chain sprockets. The purpose of such a mechanism is to transfer torque from the driving sprocket to the driven one. The stable gear ratio and a low coefficient of friction distinguish the chains, which affects the increased wear resistance of the mechanism itself.  

This is a simple and reliable tool, which provides high efficiency and lasts a long time. Due to the simplicity of manufacture, dozens of enterprises around the world produce such products. They apply several types of standards for the production of identical products. It’s the question on the minds of many diesel truck owners. Should I use my truck’s OEM head bolts or install a set of head studs?

This guide will give multiple reasons in detail why you need a roller chain!

Let’s take a look!

Table of Content

  • The Purpose of Roller Chain
  • Application for Roller Chain
  • High Efficiency
  • Smooth Movement
  • High Wear Resistance
  • Component Interchangeability and Maintainability
  • The Different Types of Roller Chain
  • Wrapping Up!

The Purpose of Roller Chain

The roller chain is used for the transmission of mechanical energy in conjunction with sprockets of the appropriate size. The roller rolls over the sprocket tooth, ensuring its rotation with minimal energy loss. Basic features for roller chain incorporate connection chain, twofold pitch, larger than average roller, rollerless, counterbalance interface, rock solid, self-greasing up, erosion safe, and adaptable.

While selecting the reliable type of chain, three main factors are necessary for consideration – the distance between the inner plates, the width and diameter of the roller.  Each factor has certain functions and properties that successfully achieve normal operation of the mechanical transmission.

Function and Properties:

  • A metal plate is an element that has the main mechanical effect. Therefore it must be as resistant to stress as possible. Usually, the impact is uniform but there is a risk of strong loads. Hence, a large margin of safety is necessary for manufacturing plates. 
  • The metal roller moves between the sprocket teeth. Because of this, it also requires high strength, especially when used in high-speed gears.
  • The bushing takes the main loads from other elements in the chain structure. It must withstand shock and compressive loads.
  • The roller chain together with the bushing connects the chain links. So, it absorbs the shearing and bending forces. While running the operation of transmission, the roller often experiences shock loads, which also negatively affects its condition.

Different types of roller chains are available in the market that have the same structure. The inner link has metal plates that have a smooth surface, movable rollers and fixed bushings. Whereas, the outer link includes rollers pressed into metal plates. For gears with increased mechanical stress, two, three and four-row chains can be used. They’re able to withstand high mechanical stress and transmit high power. To connect the rows, an additional intermediate plate requires for the structure.

Application for Roller Chain

Roller drive chains are widely used in various branches of mechanical engineering. Whether you want to use it in the production of cars, combines, tractors, other types of vehicles and special equipment. Additionally, the chain drive has become in demand for various machine tools, industrial equipment, conveyor belts and conveyors. It’s used in the woodworking industry, the food industry and more.

Roller chain is widely used in the various application: 

  • High Efficiency

The roller chain can save the maximum amount of energy during transmission and minimizes fuel consumption. It’s an energy-efficient solution for achieving various goals.

  • Smooth Movement

It provides smooth movement without jerking, sudden jumps, and jamming. This ensures the continuous operation of the chain drive required for the trouble-free operation of the machine.

  • High Wear Resistance

A well-lubricated metal can withstand high loads with low abrasion, which gives the chains a long service life.

  • Component Interchangeability and Maintainability

The repeating link design is easy to repair if required. The ​​damaged links are removed and replaced with new ones.

The rollers are heavy. They suffer from high mechanical loads and can be destroyed. As a result, the speed of the chain is reduced. In addition, it needs regular lubrication to minimize friction as the roller rolls over the sprocket tooth and to reduce abrasion.

The Different Types of Roller Chain

Drive chains broadly use in various industries. These components can set the machines and mechanisms in motion. These chain drives don’t allow slipping, which avoids energy losses during transmission. These products can put the machines in motion, while the transmission provides maximum efficiency.  Here are the  following types of drive chains:

  • Roller and Bush Chains: Roller and bush chains, among which roller chains have become the most common. Their advantage is in reducing friction, which minimizes energy losses.
  • Long Link Chains: This type has become in demand in agricultural machines, where high requirements aren’t imposed on the speed of energy transfer and resistance to loads. They are inexpensive but have a short service life.
  • Toothed Chains: Their key difference and advantage is the absence of noise during power transmission. Moreover, they require highest rates of energy transfer.   
  • Chains of Increased Accuracy: They are used where increased requirements are imposed on accuracy in drives operating under the highest load.
  • Products with Curved Plates: This design feature provides the chain with greater springiness, resulting in increased resistance to unstable mechanical loads.

The selection of a suitable product depends on the design requirements and operating conditions.

Wrapping Up

The various highly specialized organizations offer different types and sizes of roller chains on favourable terms. Some companies even become distributors of roller chain products. The products offered exactly meet the requirements of standards. So, order quality products to solve any production problem at the best prices. 


Maye is a leading contributing editor in the field of mechanical engineering, specializing in automation products. She is the business development manager of Shafttech, a mechanical components powerhouse based in Asia.

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