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What Is a Sprocket?

The sprocket is a mechanical device used in the movement of a chain or gear. Its original name referred to a projection of the wheel that caught the chain and provided drive to it. In time, the term was also applied to the wheel’s overall construction. Today, however, its original use is considered archaic.

The sprocket is an integral part of chain-driven movement systems, and it is important to select the right one for your system. The wrong sprocket can result in damage to the system, rendering it inoperable. To make the right choice, make sure to understand the system specifications and the assembly type.

There are two basic types of sprocket. There are the idler sprocket and the traction wheel sprocket. The idler sprocket is a small wheel that has enough teeth to provide adequate friction for the transmission. The traction wheel is the most common type and is used for conveyor belts and lifts. There are also sprockets with other tooth styles, such as those designed for reduced chain drive fatigue.

When choosing a sprocket, make sure to check the pitch and the size. Some sprockets have a suffix number, which indicates the number of chain strands. For example, a 16B-2 sprocket will have a pitch of one inch and a double-strand spool.

Depending on the size of the sprocket, the outside diameter of the wheels should be less than half of its inner diameter. A sprocket with more teeth will be able to accommodate larger shafts. Proper proportions will also ensure an ample chain wrap on the smaller wheel. A 90-degree wrap is the minimum requirement for a load-carrying sprocket wheel, while 120-degree wrap is preferred.

The bicycle pedal shaft is another example of a sprocket. In a bicycle, the pedal shaft pulls the large sprocket-wheel and then drives a small sprocket on the rear wheel axle. A similar system also works on motorcycles and other motorized vehicles.

A sprocket’s pitch diameter are a key feature to help you choose the right one for your machine. While pitch diameter are essential for proper chain engagement, it is important to know the diameter of the drive shaft to choose the correct sprocket for the application.

The propensity to detrack decreases with increasing slip and the driving torque applied to the sprocket. This is especially true when the initial track tension is low. For example, a sprocket with five percent slip will result in a reduction of 44% in Dgi (Detracking Gage Index).



As one of the leading manufacturers, suppliers, and exporters of mechanical products, We offer reducers, sprockets, industrial and conveyor chains, belts, pulleys, gears, racks, gearboxes, motors, PTO Shafts, taper lock Bushing, and many other products. Please get in touch with us for details.

SSJ UK Limited
Sara Jones
Mail: [email protected]
TEL: + 44 7944 869861
ADDR.: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP32 7LX, UK

TEL: +39 0522 1606 388; +39 3471 65 17 22
ADDR.:Via Pasteur, Reggio Emilia, Italy