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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A broad metal chain made of torus-shaped links.
A metal chain with diamond shaped link pins.
Roller chains.

A chain is a series of connected links. This article is about the literal, physical chain. A chain may consist of two or more links.

A chain is usually made of metal.

Chains are usually made in one of two styles, according to their intended use:

  • Those designed for lifting, such as when used with a hoist; for pulling; or for securing, such as with a bicycle lock, have links that are torus shaped, which makes the chain flexible in two dimensions (The fixed third dimension being a chain's length.)
  • Those designed for transferring power in machines have links designed to mesh with the teeth of the sprockets of the machine, and are flexible in only one dimension. They are known as Roller chains, though there are also non-roller chains such as block chain.

Uses for chain

Specific uses for chain include:

  • Bicycle chain, chain that transfers power from the pedals to the drive-wheel of a bicycle thus propelling it
  • Chain drive, the main feature that differentiated the safety bicycle
  • Chain gun, type of machine gun that utilizes a chain, driven by an external power source, to actuate the mechanism rather than using recoil
  • Chain pumps, type of water pump where an endless chain has positioned on it circular discs
  • Chain-linked Lewis, lifting device made from two curved steel legs
  • Chainsaw, portable mechanical, motorized saw using a cutting chain to saw wood.
  • Chain steam shipping
  • Curb chain, used on curb bits when riding a horse
  • Door chain, a type of security chain on a door that makes it possible to open a door from the inside while still making it difficult for someone outside to force his or her way inside
  • Keychain, a small chain that connects a small item to a keyring
  • Lead shank (or "Stud chain"), used on difficult horses that are misbehaving
  • Lavatory chain, the chain attached to the cistern of an old-fashioned W.C. in which the flushing power is obtained by a gravity feed from above-head height. Although cisterns no longer work like that, the phrase "pull the chain" is still encountered to mean "flush the lavatory".
  • O-ring chain, a specialized type of roller chain
  • Roller chain, the type of chain most commonly used for transmission of mechanical power on bicycles, motorcycles, and in industrial and agricultural machinery
  • Snow chains, used to improve traction in snow
  • Timing chain, used to transfer rotational position from the crankshaft to the valve and ignition system on an internal combustion engine, typically with a 2:1 speed reduction.
  • Ball and chain, phrase that can refer to either the actual restraint device that was used to slow down prisoners, or a derogatory description of a person's significant other
  • Bicycle lock (or "Bicycle Chain"), lockable chain
  • Security chain, specifically designed chain with square edges to prevent cutting with bolt-cutters.
  • High-tensile chain (or "Transport chain"), chain with a high tensile strength used for towing or securing loads.
  • Leg iron chains (Fetters), an alternative to handcuffs
  • Chain link fencing, type of fencing that utilizes vertical wires that are bent in a zig zag fashion and linked to each other
  • Chain of office, collar or heavy gold chain worn as insignia of office or a mark of fealty in medieval Europe and the United Kingdom
  • Chain weapon, a medieval weapon made of one or more weights attached to a handle with a chain
  • Omega chain, a pseudo-chain where the 'links' are mounted on a backing rather than being interlinked
  • Pull switch, an electrical switch operated by a chain
  • Flat chain, form of chain used chiefly in agricultural machinery
Part of The Hudson River Chain at West Point
  • Supported by log floats, large chains have been used to exclude warships from harbors and rivers e.g., the Hudson River Chain
  • Decorating clothing, some people wear wallets with chains connected to their belts, or pants decorated with chains
  • Jewelry, many necklaces and bracelets are made out of small chains of gold and silver
  • Jack chain, a toothed chain used to move logs
  • Ladder chain, a light wire chain used with sprockets for low torque power transmission
  • Anchor cable, as used by ships and boats, in British nautical usage it is a cable, not a chain
  • Chains can also be used as a percussion instrument for special effects, such as in Schönberg's Gurre-Lieder and Janáček's From the House of the Dead
  • Chain-shot, a type of ammunition for a cannon, used to inflict damage to the rigging of a sail vessel in naval warfare

See also


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CHAIN (through the O. Fr. chceine, chcene, &c., from Lat. catena), a series of links of metal or other material so connected together that the whole forms a flexible band or cord. Chains are used for a variety of purposes, such as fastening, securing, or connecting together two or more objects, supporting or lifting weights, transmitting mechanical power, &c.; or as an ornament to serve as a collar, as a symbol of office or state, or as part of the insignia of an order of knighthood; or as a device from which to hang a jewelled or other pendant, a watch, &c. (see Collar). Ornamental chains are made with a great variety of links, but those intended for utilitarian purposes are mostly of two types. In stud chains a stud or brace is inserted across each link to prevent its sides from collapsing inwards under strain, whereas in open link chains the links have no studs. The addition of studs is reckoned to increase the load which the chain can. safely bear by 50%. Small chains of the open-link type are to a great extent made by machinery. For larger sizes the smith cuts off a length of iron rod of suitable diameter, forms it while hot to the shape of the link by repeated blows of his hammer, and welds together the two ends of the link, previously slipped inside its fellow, by the aid of the same tool; in some cases the bending is done in a mechanical press and the welding under a power hammer (see also Cable). Weldless chains are also made; in A. G. Strathern's process, for instance, cruciform steel bars are pressed, while hot, into links, each without join and engaging with its neighbours. Chains used for transmitting power are known as pitch-chains; the chain of a bicycle is an example.

From the use of the chain as employed to bind or fetter a prisoner or slave, comes the figurative application to anything which serves as a constraining or restraining force; and from its series of connected links, to any series of objects, events, arguments, &c., connected by - succession, logical sequence or reasoning. Specific uses are for a measuring line in land-surveying, consisting of 100 links, i.e. iron rods, 7.92 in. in length, making 22 yds. in all, hence a lineal measure of that length; and, as a nautical term, for the contrivance by which the lower shrouds of a mast are extended and secured to the ship's sides, consisting of dead-eyes, chain-plates, and chain-wale or "channel."

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Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

  1. A part of the insignia of office. A chain of gold was placed about Joseph's neck (Gen 41:42); and one was promised to Daniel (5:7). It is used as a symbol of sovereignty (Ezek 16:11). The breast-plate of the high-priest was fastened to the ephod by golden chains (Ex 39:17, 21).
  2. It was used as an ornament (Prov 1:9; Song 1:10). The Midianites adorned the necks of their camels with chains (Jdg 8:21, 26).
  3. Chains were also used as fetters wherewith prisoners were bound (Jdg 16:21; 2 Sam 3:34; 2Kg 25:7; Jer 39:7). Paul was in this manner bound to a Roman soldier (Acts 28:20; Eph 6:20; 2 Tim 1:16). Sometimes, for the sake of greater security, the prisoner was attached by two chains to two soldiers, as in the case of Peter (Acts 12:6).
This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

Simple English

y iron chain]]

Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:

A chain is like a rope, it can join two things together. It is made differently though:

  • It is made up of several elements called links. These elements all look the same.
  • Each element usually looks like a ring.
  • The elements can be made of different materials, iron and steel are common. Less lasting chains can also be made of plastic.

  • A chain (of restaurants, for example) can also be different such restaurants, possibly in different cities. All such restaurants have the same name and perhaps are owned by the same people.
  • A human chain can be made by people standing next to one another and who hold hands or link arms. It is a chain that has people for its links.


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