Difference between Chain Drive and Belt Drive

Chain drive and belt drive are used to transfer mechanical power from one part of a machine to another. However, they work on completely different apparatus and principal. Chain drive works on shafts with holes which can be shifted to change the gears at any time. Furthermore, it is mostly used in bicycles, motorcycles, vehicles and tanks. On the other hand, belt drive is a loop which helps to carry weights by transmitting the mechanical energy within machinery. But, it cannot be used to lift heavy weights as it doesn’t have shafts to provide protection.


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    Chain drive

    It helps to transmit mechanical power from one part of a machine to another. It is commonly used in bicycles and motorcycles to transfer power to the wheels. Furthermore, it is used in many other machines to convey power to different parts within them. Mostly, the mechanical power is transferred with the help of a roller chain which is known as drive chain or transmission chain which passes over sprocket gear having teeth of gears with holes in the chain. When the chain is pulled with a mechanical force, the gear is shifted on the shaft.

    It was widely used in Byzantine during the third century BC to lift heavy weights. Besides, it was also used in the building of different architectures in the past. It was used to construct a very powerful transmission system of the automobiles. In addition, it is also used to lift-up smooth, moderate and heavy shock loads.

    Image courtesy: youmotorcycle.com

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    Belt drive

    It is a loop made up of flexible material which is used link two or more shafts mechanically so that they can rotate to create specific force. It helps in an efficient transmission of power or to follow relative movement. It is used according to the principal of pulley to create motion. One of its most common functions is to carry load between two points as a conveyor belt.

    It is quite easy to use and is very inexpensive as it doesn’t require any kind of shafts to transfer the mechanical power. However, it cannot be used to lift heavy weights as it cannot tolerate misalignment because of no shafts. Besides, it needs protection against high temperature which can make them more flexible and fragile.

    Image courtesy: banditmachineworks.com

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