The transmission chain : The key element of your mechanism

🔗 Mechanical transmission

Date of publication : 12/06/2023

Reading time : 4 Minutes


Discover the essence of mechanical transmissions : Essential parts of our fast-moving world.

What is a transmission chain used for?

The chain of transmission is an important element in the industry. It is made up of links linked together to form a continuous chain. Each link consists of a pin and a bushing, with a roller that spins around them.

The pins and bushings used in the transmission chain are made of hardened and tempered steel. Hardened steel is a type of steel that is surface-strengthened by adding other elements, often high in carbon. This makes the steel more resistant to impact and sudden loads.

By treating the steel in a specific way, different parts of the transmission chain can be made able to withstand high pressures and withstand the stresses exerted on them. When steel is hardened and tempered, it becomes harder on the surface to resist wear, while its core retains its resilience to effectively absorb shocks and loads.

Thanks to the use of these specific materials and treatments, the transmission chain can operate reliably and efficiently in various industrial sectors. It ensures a solid and durable transmission of power and movement.

How to choose a transmission chain?

A transmission chain consists of many elements that it is important to select carefully to ensure effective work. The links of a roller chain are interconnected via pins. A chain can also be closed or have its ends open depending on its use.

ITAFRAN offers a large choice of links for the transmission chains  as well as many references from brands like CMW to support industry professionals.

ISO and ASA transmission chains

In the field of mechanical transmission, chains are classified according to different standards that define their shape, thickness and compatibility with sprockets or cogwheels. The most common standards are the American ASA standard and the European ISO standard. It is important to know the correct standard to avoid premature wear of chains and sprockets.

The American ASA standard is widely used in industry. It comprises two main ranges: the standard range and the reinforced type H range. The reinforced type H range is similar to the standard range, but has a wider overall width and thicker plates, offering excellent resistance to high loads. ASA chains are available in single, double, triple and quadruple versions, in standard and reinforced ranges.


The European ISO standard is also used, particularly in the agricultural sector. ISO chains are available in single, double and triple versions. Unlike ASA chains, they are not classified into reinforced ranges.

ISO standard (European) :

  Single chains  08B1  10B1  12B1  16B1  20B1
  Double chains  08B2  10B2  12B2  16B2  20B2

ASA standard (American) :

  Standard single chain    ASA40, ASA50, ASA60, ASA80, ASA100, ASA120
  Standard double chain    ASA40-2, ASA50-2, ASA60-2, ASA80-2, ASA100-2, ASA120-2
  Reinforced single chain    ASA40H, ASA50H, ASA60H, ASA80H, ASA100H, ASA120H
  Reinforced double chain    ASA40-H2, ASA50-H2, ASA60-H2, ASA80-H2, ASA100-H2, ASA120-H2


Choice of drive chains and sprockets

Power and speed:

Evaluate the horsepower required for your application to determine the load capacity needed for the chain and sprockets. Also, make sure the RPM of the smallest gear matches your system requirements to ensure proper compatibility between power and RPM.

Operating conditions and loads :

Consider operating conditions, including loads, when selecting sprockets. For larger loads, opt for a small sprocket with at least 21 teeth. In some cases, it may be necessary to harden the gear wheel to increase its resistance. Choose an odd number of teeth for optimal force distribution and increased durability.

Shaft spacing and winding angle :

Shaft spacing is important and should generally be between 30 and 60 times the chain pitch, but can be adapted to your specific needs. Make sure the chain has a wrap angle of at least 120° on the small sprocket for optimum grip and smooth operation.

Precise alignment of sprockets and shafts :

Accurate alignment of sprockets and shafts is essential to avoid vibration and premature wear. Check that the sprockets are correctly aligned and that the shafts are parallel to the wheel. Use an easily mountable connecting link on the sprocket for easy assembly and disassembly of the chain.

Chain Arrow :

Consider the deflection of the chain, which represents its elongation under load. Aim for an arrow corresponding to 1-2% of the center distance for proper operation. If sag exceeds 3%, chain replacement is recommended to maintain optimum performance.

By considering horsepower, speed, operating conditions and precise alignment, you can choose the correct chain and sprockets for your application. Use this practical guide to make informed decisions and ensure reliable and efficient operation of your drive system. Take the time to select the right components and enjoy increased efficiency and extended equipment life.

Personalization of transmission chains

The integration of personalization in mechanical transmission chains is becoming increasingly important to optimize their operation. Here's why it's crucial:

Adaptation to specific needs : Customization allows transmissions to be designed to meet the specific requirements of each application. By adjusting parameters such as length, links, the gables And the gears, one can create a transmission adapted to the specific load, speed and environmental conditions.

Performance optimization : Customization optimizes the performance of mechanical transmission chains. Choosing the right materials, determining the proper tension and lubrication reduces friction, improves transmission efficiency and extends chain life.

Cost reduction: A customized drive chain helps reduce operating costs. By optimizing performance, energy losses are reduced and the overall efficiency of the system is improved. In addition, by using quality materials and adapting maintenance to specific needs, replacement and repair costs are reduced.

Increased security : The customization of mechanical transmission chains improves the safety of operations. By designing the chain to specific stresses, the risk of failure and potential damage is reduced. By regularly monitoring the condition of the chain and carrying out preventive maintenance, accidents and costly interruptions can be avoided.

Adaptation to technological developments : Personalization makes it possible to adapt to technological developments. With the advent of Industry 4.0, mechanical transmission chains can be integrated with advanced monitoring and control systems. This makes it possible to collect data in real time, optimize performance and predict possible failures.

In conclusion, customization plays an increasingly important role in mechanical transmission chains. By adapting design parameters, materials and maintenance procedures, performance can be optimized, costs reduced and safety improved. In a context where needs and requirements are increasingly specific, customization offers significant advantages and allows you to stay at the forefront of technological developments.

How do you find the right equivalent for you?

Equivalents can be found on in two ways. The first is to refer to the product data sheet.

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