Difference Between Belt Drive,Chain Drive and Gear Drive

Comparison of Belt, Chain and Gear drive

Difference Between Belt Drive, Chain Drive and Gear Drive with Comparison Chart


The major difference between Belt drive and Chain drive is that the Belt drive is one friction drive, and Chain drive is one engagement drive. Both a chain drive and a belt drive allow locomotion and transfer the power within a particular piece of machinery. Chain drives and Belt drives used in bicycles, motorcycles, and automobiles.

Comparison of Belt drive and Chain drive

Comparison Chart

Belt drive Chain drive Gear drive
Main element Pulleys, belt Main element Sprockets, chain Main element Gears
Slip may occur No-slip No-slip
Suitability For the large center
Suitability For the moderate center
Suitability For the short center
Large Space requires Moderate Space requires Less Space requires
Simplest Design, manufacturing,
Simplest Design, manufacturing,
Complicated Design, manufacturing,
Failure of the belt does not
cause the further
damage of machine
Failure of a chain may not
seriously damage the
Failure of gear may
cause serious break
down in the
Less Life Moderate Life Long Life
Lubrication Not required Lubrication required Requires proper
Less Installation cost Moderate Installation cost More Installation cost
Used For low-velocity ratio Used For moderate velocity
Used For high velocity

Chain Drive

Slipping occurs in belt and rope drives. In order to avoid these slipping phenomenon chain drives are used. A
chain drive consists of three elements

  1. Driving sprocket
  2. Driven sprocket
  3. An endless chain which is wrapped around two sprockets
Chain Drive
Chain Drive

Advantages of Chain Drive

  • It provides a positive transmission and no chances of slip are there.
  • It gives a constant velocity ratio

Applications of Chain Drive

  • It is used in bicycle, motorcycles, agricultural machinery and textile machinery, material handling equipment

Types of Chain

  1. Hoisting and Hauling chains
  2. Conveyor chains
  3. Power transmission chains

Gear Drive

  • A gear is a rotating machine part having cut teeth, or cogs, which mesh with another toothed part in order to
    transmit torque and power.
  • In order to transmit a definite power from one shaft to another shaft to the projection on one disc and recesses
    on another disc can be made which can mesh with each other.
  • In the early days, friction discs as shown in the figure were used for transmitting the power from one shaft to another shaft. In such a case, the power transmission capacity depends on the friction between surfaces of two discs. Therefore, this method is not suitable for transmitting higher power as a slip occurs between the discs.
Gear Drive
Gear Drive

Advantages of Gear drive

  • It is a positive drive (no slip) i.e. it transmits exact velocity ratio from one shaft to another shaft.
  • It can transmit very large power.
  • High transmission efficiency.
  • It requires less space.
  • This drive is more reliable.

Disadvantages of Gear drive

  • Manufacturing cost is high.
  • Maintenance cost is also high due to lubrication requirements.
  • The error in cutting teeth may cause vibrations and noise during operation.It requires precise alignment of shafts.

Types of gears

  1. Spur gear
  2. Helical gear
  3. Rack and Pinion gear
  4. Bevel gear
  5. Worm and worm wheel
  6. Spiral gear

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