Chains are likely one of the first things that Man forged when he learned to manipulate metal. In a way, it was like making stronger, more durable rope, or a substance and product that would substitute for rope and be capable of bearing greater weight loads.
Our world is filled with a mind-boggling array of chains that have vastly different uses, from bicycle, conveyor belt and saw chains, to roller, curb and jewelry chains, all of which owe their existence to whoever first hammered out one open form, then put another through it and closed the link.
Chains are forged according to their purpose, but generally come in two shapes that depend on their intended use. The torus, which has a mathematical formula for how it got to be the shape it is, applies to any chain where the second and subsequent links, are turned 90 degrees from the position of the preceding one. The purpose of this is to provide the resulting chain with two-dimensional movement. Roller chains are the second kind, made specifically for machinery, and cast so that the links catch the teeth of a machine’s sprockets, thus engaging its mechanical action.
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