Schoeffmann, W., Truffinet, C., Howlett, M., Ausserhofer, N. et al., "Demands on Future Timing drives - Chain and Belt in Competition," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-1275, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-1275.
When designing a new internal combustion engine, the choice of technology for the timing drive system is one of the key decisions that determines the overall characteristics of the engine with far reaching implications on the remaining architecture and overall packaging of the engine. For Passenger car engines there are two mainstream technologies: toothed belts and chains. Each of these offers several sub-variants, such as dry vs. wet belt, or toothed vs. roller chain.This paper examines the differences between these technologies in relation to the key engine attributes including package, cost, weight, durability, NVH and frictional losses. A quantitative evaluation is made where possible, based on data collected from recent engine development programs, backed up by literature study and data from the component supply industry.These differences are reviewed in the light of current and expected future engine development trends in order to give a basis for the engine designer to choose the appropriate technology for coming years.