Variable-Ratio Chain Drives With Noncircular Sprockets and Minimum Slack-Theory and Application

[+] Author and Article Information
F. Freudenstein, Ching-Kong Chen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027

J. Mech. Des 113(3), 253-262 (Sep 01, 1991) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2912777 History: Received March 01, 1988; Online June 02, 2008


The theory has been developed for the design of a new mechanical component: variable-ratio chain drives with noncircular sprockets and minimum slack. The theory is based on a kinematic correspondence between noncircular chain drives and noncircular gears. This in turn permits the development of an algorithm for minimizing chain slack. The theory is applicable to a wide range of mechanical equipment, including bicycles and nonuniform motion transmissions involving band drives, tape drives, and timing belts. Such drives may or may not require a tensioner, but if they do, tensioner displacement will be minimal. Numerical examples illustrate applications to the design of an optimum bicycle configuration and a harmonic-motion generator.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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