Seven(7) Silent Chain Fundamentals

Center Guide Silent Chain and Sprockets
Center Guide Silent Chain and Sprockets

All silent chains are made up of stacked rows of flat, tooth shaped driving links that mesh with sprockets having compatible tooth spaces, much the way a rack and pinion mesh. Typically, chains will also contain guide links, whose purpose is to maintain proper tracking of the chain on sprockets. Washers or spacers may be present in some chain constructions. All of these components are held together by riveted pins located in each chain joint. Although all silent chains have these basic features there are still many many different styles, designs, and configurations.

Given the many possible variations in silent chain design it is important to understand some of the options that are available.

Note: Chains must always be accompanied by compatible sprockets. When considering different silent chain designs, it is essential that sprocket compatibility also be considered.

Click on a Selection

  1. Power Transmission or Conveying Chain?
  2. Center Guide, Side Guide, or Two Center Guides?
  3. Two Pin or Single Pin Joints?
  4. Pitch?
  5. Width?
  6. Duplex?
  7. Build Type, also known as "Buildup"

4) Pitch?
Estimated Pitch Silent chains are available in pitches ranging from 3/16” to over 2” pitch. Smaller pitches provide smoother action and less vibration than larger pitches. Larger pitches are more robust with higher tensile load capacity. Pitch is most commonly expressed in inches, even when other chain dimensions may be in metric units. The most reliable method for determining chain pitch is to measure the distance between the centers of three consecutive pin heads and divide that number by 2.