Silent chain, or inverted-tooth chain, is a type of chain with teeth formed on its links to engage with the teeth in the sprockets. Silent chains drives are not truly silent. The links in a silent chain drive, however, engage with the sprocket teeth with little impact or sliding, and as a result a silent chain produces less vibrations and noise than other chains. The amount of noise generated by a silent chain drive depends of many factors including sprocket size, speed, lubrication, load, and drive support. A link belt silent chain includes removable links joined by rivets or interlocking tabs. These chains offer the advantage of installation without dismantling drive components, reducing inventory, and increasing temperature ranges.
A silent chain’s pitch is generally expressed in inches; the most common are .375 in, .500 in, .750 in, 1.000 in, 1.500 in, and 2.000 in. Chain pitch can be determined by measuring distance across the consecutive pin heads and dividing by three. Width is also used to express the size of a silent chain including: width over heads (the maximum chain width, measured across the ‘headed’ pins), width over links (the measurement across link plates, excluding pin heads or washers), width between guides (measured between guide plates; used only with side guide silent chains), and nominal width (not a measurement, but an approximation of chain sized for catalogs).
Silent chain can be used in a variety of power transmission and conveying applications. When used in power transmission applications, silent chains are able to transmit loads at speeds in excess of other types of chains and belts. In addition, silent chain drives transmit power more efficiently and with less noise and vibration. Silent chains are also used in conveying applications because their conveying surface is durable, resistant to heat, is flat, and non-slip. Silent chains from different manufactures are different in design; parts should not be used interchangeably.