A dynamic model for analysis of the performance of roller chain drive with a tensioner is presented. The model is based on the axially moving material model first given by Mote, but includes extensions that allow consideration of the effects of polygonal action, impact, and the periodic span length changes. Three equations of motion are obtained — one for the tensioner and one for each of the chain spans. The motion of the tensioner interacts with the motions of the chain spans through the chain tension, the contact angles, and the transverse displacement changes of the contact points. The effects of the periodic length change, tensioner stiffness, tensioner damping, tensioner position and external periodic load are investigated. Some of the results are compared to those obtained for a comparable chain drive without a tensioner. Solutions are obtained by a finite difference method.

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