Large guided chains are often used in manufacturing machinery to move materials and tooling. In such applications, the accuracy of the motion of the chain has a significant impact on the quality and yield of the process. The motion of the chain will be dependent on the geometry of the machine, the dynamic parameters of the machine, and the exact tolerances of the machine components. The research presented in this paper will first address the kinematics of a chain system. The analysis will include both chordal effects and link length variations, which affect the engagement between the chain and the drive sprocket. Second, the kinematic analysis will be used to develop a dynamic analysis based upon Lagrange’s equations for a chain system with variable link lengths. Results are presented which demonstrate the influence of chain mass and drive stiffness on the dynamic behavior of the system operating at both low and high speeds with oversized links.

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