A roller chain, known also in the industry as transmission chain is commonly used to transmit power from a geared motor drive. Machinery speed can then be altered by varying the size of the drive sprockets used.
Roller chain is produced as simplex, duplex, triplex up to mega plex from some of the leading suppliers in the world. Roller chain can be supplied in various materials from mild steel chain to Nickel Plated or in stainless steel for high strength agricultural chain. Other roller chain is also available which can be run lube free known as specialist lubricated chain. Roller chains are available across a range of applications and even to suit the most demanding of environment.
Drive chain (Transmission) can be manufactured against a range of industry standards including BS or ANSI. This will ensure that it is built to withstand the demand it has been assured against and the conditions in which the chain can operate. Important parts of ensuring any operation in which drive chains are used are the components of the operation, i.e. the sprockets and gears. Drive and roller chain sprockets are manufactured in many forms and variances including taper lock bush format sprockets, pilot bored sprockets or fully machined bored sprockets.
There are many other variations of chain such as leaf and conveyor. Conveyor Chain, which as the name would suggests is used to convey products, generally within an industrial application such as a car factory.
Leaf chains generally have greater tensile strength than roller versions, and run over sheaves rather than sprockets. They are commonly used as counterweight for machine tools, elevator and oven doors, and fork lift truck masts, spinning frames and similar lifting or balancing applications.
Another factor to consider when choosing the right product type is the maintenance and upkeep of the chain mechanism. Often, sprockets and runners used to control the speed and direction of the chain will require regular lubrication and will require checks for signs of tension and wear. All Chain manufacturers will advise what regular checks and maintenance is required to ensure your chain has a long working life. Guidance should also be published in regards to suitable operating environments. i.e. a chain that is working within a cold room or extreme heat, will require additional protection and checks to ensure the chain is suitable for this environment will help towards an efficient and long working life.
High strength chains are generally built in accordance with ANSI or BS and are dimensionally identical to Heavy Series Drive chains, but are specially designed and incorporate pins produced from medium carbon alloy steel. These pins are through-hardened to give the chain a higher working load capacity and additional resistance to fatigue in high load and pulsating type applications. There is much more to consider when choosing chains than just load capacity and with so many types of chain out there, it’s important to speak to a reputable sprocket and chain supplier who will advise the right parts for the right job.