4 Reasons Why Buying Proper Welded Chain Matters

Article Tags:
chain elongation
chain failure
chain link
heat treatment
interference fits
premature chain failure
press fit
proper installation
properly welded steel chain
steel chain
Purchasing industrial chain can be a difficult decision. With a wide range of options and features available, making sure you select the proper chain is critical. The decision could be based on the load capacity, the ability to deal with extreme temperatures or the overall strength of the chain. Whatever the reason may be, once the right chain is in place, the ability to prevent future wear and chain failure will increase, protecting your investment. As you dive deeper into the decision-making process, keep in mind these four reasons why buying the proper chain matters.

1) The Chain’s Application

Many chains perform well under light loads, but once the loads get heavier, the difference in production quality will become more obvious. Chains are very application specific. Most chains can only handle a specific load range. It doesn’t matter if the loads are pallets, grid boxes, or industrial containers. Once that range is exceeded, the rate of chain failure increases more rapidly as time goes on.

2) Premature Chain Failure

One of the main causes of chain failure is the environment that the chain is in. To increase the life of the chain, first increase their wear resistance and strength. Some manufacturers have been able to change the mechanical properties of their chains. As a result, it is important to take note of the number of applications the chain has performed, and the period of time the chain has been operating. By being aware of how much the chain is being used, it will be easier to predict when the chain needs to be replaced to prevent unplanned downtime.

3) Heat Treatment

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Chain wear is directly affected by the hardness of the wearing components. The harder the parts, the longer the wear life. End users are usually aware of this and apply that mindset to predict the lifespan of their chains. However, end users sometimes sacrifice component hardness or resistance in place of overloading the chain when using lower rated chains in higher load applications. Doing this will cause the chain to emit more heat.

As more heat is being emitted, the material the chain is made of will play a larger role. Low carbon steel for barrels will not respond to heat treatment, even if it is put in a furnace to be heat treated. Medium carbon steel welded chains respond better with heat treatment; providing twice the heat resistance.

However, even with higher heat resistance, one process is still often overlooked; tempering the barrel welds. As a result of the heat, the integrity of the components decrease making the chain wear quicker. It’s also important to note that poor weld fusion between the barrel and head sidebar can lead to premature failure. Even if the chain is at a proper load weight, the barrel’s reduced strength against bending will result in more sprocket contact. This contact can cause brittle fractures in heat affected areas of the sidebar which may lead to failure.

4) The Press Fits and the Importance of Interference Fits

Welded steel chains supply superior fatigue strength. In order to maintain this level of strength, the chains typically have tightly controlled fits between the pin and chain sidebar hole. It’s this beneficial residual stress in the sidebar that creates a longer fatigue life. Some chains have a “stepped” pin to ease assembly and protect the integrity of the interference fit. Also note that poorly controlled interference fits have a lower fatigue strength and are more susceptible to chain failure after multiple uses.

Find additional information, access our Rexnord Industrial Chain product page to fint installation manuals, videos and product specifications.

Jon Utz

Jon is a Manager of Engineering for the Industrial Chain Group at Rexnord. He is a 20 year veteran at Rexnord, after spending 6 years at US Tsubaki. Jon is a graduate of The Ohio State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering.