What Are Sprockets and Their General Types?

Sprockets are profiled wheels that are capable of meshing with a track, chain, or various other perforated materials, serving to transmit rotary motion between two shafts. Sprockets find use in numerous settings, often being a part of the pulleys, bicycles, tracked vehicles, and various machine assemblies. While sprockets are often compared to gears, they differ from such components in the fact that they never mesh directly with another sprocket. As there are many types of sprockets that one may procure, each of which may differ in their interaction, drive performance, and design, it is important to understand common variations and differences.

In general, the sprockets may be categorized by type, those of which will define the style of their hub. Type A sprockets are flat and are devoid of a hub, and such components are typically mounted onto the hubs or flanges of the device that they will drive. Generally, connection is made through a series of holes that may be plain or tapered. Type B sprockets have a hub on one side of their assembly, which permits the sprocket to be placed in close proximity to the machinery that it is mounted on. With such a design, larger overhung loads placed on equipment bearings can be eliminated.

Type C sprockets have hubs on both sides of their plate, and they are often utilized when the pitch diameter is larger and an increased amount of weight needs to be supported on the shaft. Generally, applications that feature larger loads will require larger hubs for optimal functionality. Type D sprockets are the final major type, and they are considered to be a Type A sprocket that is mounted onto a solid or split hub. With their split design and ability to be bolted onto a hub, Type D sprockets can easily be removed as needed. Additionally, the speed ratio of such sprockets can be adjusted without the need for removing bearings and other equipment.

When one is searching for the right sprocket fit for their needs, there are various terms that one should become familiar with. When discussing hub styles, one will often have access to A, B, and C style hub configurations, due to the fact that Type D sprockets utilize Type A sprockets. When determining measurements and geometry, the caliper diameter is important, that of which is the measurement between sprocket tooth valleys. Outside diameters, meanwhile, are the measurement between sprocket tooth peaks. Beyond such values, one should also be aware of maximum bore diameters, length through bore values, and plain bore styles.

While Type A, B, C, and D sprockets are all variations that one may procure, there are also named sprocket types that are available. These include double pitch, multiple strand, QD, taper-lock, steel split, double single, idler, and double plus sprockets. As each will vary in their component makeup and capabilities, it is important that one ensures that they choose the right fit for their system and needs. If you are ready to begin sourcing the various sprocket parts, motor transmission components, pulleys, and other related items that you require for your operations, let the experts at NSN Components help you source everything with competitive pricing and rapid lead-times.

NSN Components is a leading distributor of top-quality parts, presenting customers access to over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find components that have been sourced from leading global manufacturers that we trust. As you take the time to explore our current set of offerings, you may take advantage of our RFQ services to rapidly request quotes for your comparisons with ease. As team members are available for customers 24/7x365, responses to quote requests will be given in as little as 15 minutes or less. Experience how NSN Components is revolutionizing the part procurement process for our customers when you get in contact with one of our representatives today. 


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