How much is chain replacement costingIndustrial roller chain is manufactured from highly engineered components and therefore proper maintenance is necessary in order for customers to get the best out of the products. There are a number of steps engineers can take to ensure that their chain drives are operating as effectively as possible.

  • Periodic visual inspections.
  • Scheduled preventative maintenance.
  • Preventative condition monitoring (to prevent excessive overload/damage to components etc).


Chain lubrication

Proper lubrication of roller chain drives is an important factor in getting the best possible performance from drive systems. No matter how well a transmission system is designed, if it is not properly lubricated its service life will be shortened. Incorrect or insufficient lubrication is one of the primary reasons for premature roller chain wear and eventual failure.

The key reason for lubricating the chain bearing surfaces is to minimise wear elongation of the chain components as a result of direct metal to metal contact resulting in increased friction. Chain elongation is primarily caused by wear between the bearing pin and bush during articulation. As well as preventing premature elongation, good lubrication also reduces noise levels and cools down the chain when running at high speed.

It is important to use the correct viscosity lubrication for roller chain. Generally heavy oils or grease are not suitable as a chain lubricant. Whilst many chain drives operate in normal ambient temperatures, some need to operate outside of these parameters often operating in higher or lower temperatures or damp conditions. In these environments it is vital that a lubricant that can operate effectively is selected.


Chain slack

Roller chain operates most effectively when there is a suitable amount of slack. If too much tension is applied the oil film between the bearing surface areas i.e. the pin and bush, is restricted or broken causing possible increased wear and damage to the bearing components.

If possible the amount of slack should be 4% of the span (shaft centre distance between the drive and driven sprocket). In instances where the drive is vertical or close to vertical then it should be 2% maximum. A 2% ratio should also be applied for shaft centre distances exceeding 1 metre, when frequent starts are made or when sudden reverse motion takes place.

Roller chain will stretch slightly during its first few hours of service (by about 0.05%). This may result in too much slack of the chain and require initial adjustment.

Chain tensioners are ideal for automatic take up of the slack chain where they can be fitted.