A model of a roller-chain drive is developed and applied to the simulation and analysis of roller-chain drives of large marine diesel engines. Two different ways of modelling the contact between the rollers and sprockets are presented; one using a circular shaped tooth profile and the other using the shape of a real tooth profile. The main components of the roller-chain drive model include the sprockets with different sizes and the chain made of rollers and links, which are represented by rigid bodies, mass particles and spring-damper assemblies, respectively. The contact between the rollers and the sprockets are represented by a continuous contact force. The models proposed effectively represent the polygonal effect always present in this type of drive. The numerical results from the simulations are compared with analytical results, for simplified models. The model with a real tooth profile proves superior to the model with a circular tooth profile.
Archive of Applied Mechanics, 2005, Vol 74, Issue 7, p. 489-508