Types of Industrial Chains

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Industrial chains are an integral part of the manufacturing industry. They are responsible for transferring power and motion from one machine to another, enabling the production process to run smoothly. Industrial chains are designed to transmit power and motion through a chain and sprocket assembly, providing a highly reliable and efficient means of power transmission. Different types of chains are available for various industrial applications, ranging from simple drives to highly specialized operations. In this article, we will discuss the most common types of industrial chains and how to maintain them

What are Industrial Chains

Industrial chains are mechanical devices that consist of a series of interconnected links that transmit power and motion between two or more components, convey materials, or support heavy loads. The links can be made from various materials, including steel, plastic, and nylon. Industrial chains are commonly used in conveyor systems, power transmission, and motion control applications. They are designed to handle heavy loads, high speeds, and harsh environments.

Types of Industrial Chains

There are several types of industrial chains, each with its own unique features and benefits. The most common types of industrial chains include roller chains, silent chains, engineering class chains, leaf chains, attachment chains, and agricultural chains.

Roller Chains

Roller chains are the most common type of industrial chains and are widely used in various applications, including conveyors, power transmission, and material handling. Roller chains consist of a series of cylindrical rollers that are held together by links. The rollers rotate as they move over the sprocket teeth, transmitting power from one shaft to another.

Standard Roller Chains

The standard roller chain is the most widely used type of industrial chain. It consists of a series of cylindrical rollers connected by links, which are attached to two inner plates and two outer plates. The rollers rotate freely on the pins, which are press-fitted into the links. This type of chain is highly durable and can transmit a significant amount of power. It is used in a variety of applications, such as conveying systems, power transmission, and agricultural machinery.

Heavy-Duty Roller Chains

Heavy-duty roller chains are designed to handle high loads and are used in applications where standard roller chains are not suitable. They are made of high-strength materials, such as alloy steel or stainless steel, and have thicker links and rollers.

Double Pitch Roller Chain

The double-pitch roller chain is similar to the standard roller chain, but with a longer pitch. The double-pitch roller chain is used in applications where the center distance between the sprockets is longer than the standard roller chain. It is commonly used in material handling equipment and conveyor systems.

Hollow Pin Chains

Hollow pin chains are a type of roller chain that feature hollow pins instead of solid pins. These chains are commonly used in applications where there is a need to convey or transport items such as products, materials, or equipment. Hollow pin chains are commonly used in industries such as food processing, packaging, and material handling. They are also used in conveyor systems, printing presses, and other machinery that require precise and reliable movement of products or materials

Leaf Chains

Leaf chains are designed to carry heavy loads and provide a high-strength and flexible means of power transmission. They are made up of interlocking links that resemble the leaves of a tree. The links are press-fitted into the pins, which are assembled in pairs to form the chain which consists of interlocking links with no rollers. The links are press-fitted into the pins, which are assembled in pairs to form the chain. Leaf chains are used in applications such as forklift trucks, hoists, and cranes. Leaf chains are designed to handle heavy loads and withstand shock and fatigue. They are made of durable materials such as carbon steel and can be customized to meet specific application requirements.

Attachment Chains

Attachment chains are specialized chains designed for specific applications. They have attachments such as extended pins, hooks, and specialized links that allow them to perform unique functions. Attachment chains are used in a variety of applications, including elevators, escalators, and material-handling equipment.

Engineering Steel Chains

Engineering steel chains are used in heavy-duty applications such as mining and construction equipment. They are made of high-quality alloy steel and are designed to handle extreme loads and harsh environments. Engineering steel chains are available in a variety of configurations, including welded, offset, and straight sidebar varieties.

Agricultural Chains

Agricultural chains are used in farming and agricultural applications. These chains are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, dirt, and debris. They are used in applications such as combine harvesters, tractors, and plows. Agricultural chains are made of durable materials such as carbon steel and are designed to resist corrosion.

Silent Chains

Silent chains, also known as inverted-tooth chains, are designed to operate quietly and with low vibration. Silent chains consist of a series of tooth-shaped links that interlock with each other, creating a flexible but durable chain. They are used in applications where quiet operation is critical, such as in printing presses, packaging machinery, and automotive engines.

Maintenance of Industrial Chains

Proper maintenance of industrial chains is crucial to ensure their performance and longevity. Here are some tips on how to properly maintain industrial chains:


One of the most important aspects of chain maintenance is proper lubrication. Chains should be lubricated regularly with a high-quality lubricant that is specifically designed for industrial chains. Proper lubrication helps to reduce friction, wear, and corrosion, which can lead to premature failure of the chain.


Chains should be properly tensioned to prevent excessive wear and elongation. Tension should be checked regularly and adjusted as needed. Over-tensioning can cause excessive wear on the chain and sprockets, while under-tensioning can cause the chain to jump off the sprockets.


Proper alignment of the chain and sprockets is also important for optimal performance and longevity. Misaligned chains can cause excessive wear and can lead to premature failure of the chain and sprockets.


Chains should be inspected regularly for signs of wear, damage, and elongation. If any of these issues are found, the chain should be replaced immediately to prevent further damage or failure.

In conclusion, industrial chains are a crucial part of the manufacturing industry as they transfer power and motion between machines to ensure the smooth running of production processes. They are available in various types including roller chains, silent chains, engineering class chains, leaf chains, and pintle chains, each designed for specific industrial applications. To ensure their longevity and optimal performance, it is important to properly maintain industrial chains through regular lubrication, proper tension, and regular inspections. Regular maintenance of industrial chains helps to prevent downtime, improve efficiency, and reduce costs associated with repairs and replacements.

If you require assistance in navigating the complexities of the different types of chains and identifying the appropriate one for your needs, rest assured that HVH‘s team of professionals is at your service during normal business hours. We are delighted to assist you in ensuring that you have the correct chains for your requirements. Whether we are providing guidance on the various types of industrial chain links or helping you determine which attachments are necessary for a specific project, our exceptional customer service will ensure that your project is back on track promptly. Please do not hesitate to contact our courteous and knowledgeable experts at 1(866)577-4040 or via email at