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How to make the most of the roller chain

Have already visited 8503/28/2022

Roller chains are used in a wide range of applications in every industry to transfer power and convey materials. Since many applications rely on roller chain, it is critical to optimize service life to prevent unnecessary downtime and business costs.

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Components of a roller chain

Roller, sleeve, pin, inner chain plate and outer chain plate. The inner chain plate is connected to the sleeve and the outer chain plate to the pin by interference: the roller and the sleeve and the sleeve and the pin are clearance fits.

80 roller chain


The distance between the centers of two adjacent rollers on the roller chain.

There are single-row chain, double-row chain and multi-row chain in roller chain. The bearing capacity of multi-row chain is proportional to the number of rows, but due to the influence of precision, the load of each row is not easy to be uniform, so the number of rows should not be too many.

Fixed form of chain joint

Even number of joints: cotter pin (large pitch) or spring card (small pitch).

Odd number of links: Transition links (additional bending moment will be generated, so it is not used in general).

Each roller chain has an expected service life according to the chain specifications and usage conditions. Even the highest quality chain used exactly as specified by the manufacturer will wear out slowly.

Premature failure can occur if the wrong chain is specified for the application or if the manufacturer's instructions for use are not followed.

One of the most common causes of excessive roller chain wear is incorrect or insufficient lubrication. Ensuring that the correct type and amount of lubrication is used at the correct intervals will give your roller chain the best chance of achieving its maximum service life.

The type of lubricant needs to be carefully selected based on the drive specifications and operating environment. Optimal lubrication will help reduce wear within the chain and reduce shock loads and help dissipate heat.

Installing an automatic lubrication system will ensure that the correct amount of lubricant is applied at the correct intervals, thus reducing manual work and eliminating the chance of human error.

Roller chains often operate in environments where contamination is prevalent. Abrasive contaminants such as dirt and dust can damage the chain's internal mechanisms, thereby accelerating wear. Dust, rust or exposure to corrosive environments may prevent lubricant from penetrating the pins.

It is important to keep the operating environment as clean as possible to avoid the chance of contamination entering the roller chain. If contamination is unavoidable, choose a roller chain that is designed for the environment.

Ensuring that both the shaft and sprocket are aligned will help extend the life of the roller chain. Misalignment can cause uneven loading across the chain, which can lead to wear of the roller chain plates and sprocket teeth. You can help reduce premature chain wear by ensuring that both sprockets and shafts are aligned, and by using simple straight edges or more sophisticated and precise laser alignment tools, such as those from SKF.

It is critical to ensure that the correct roller chain is selected for the application requirements in order to give your chain the best chance of achieving its maximum service life. Excessive load is a common cause of premature chain wear. Care must be taken to ensure that the proper chain product is selected for the intended application load and should be re-evaluated periodically to ensure that the load being applied during operation does not exceed the manufacturer's specifications for that product.

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