The benefits of chain transmission
The main benefits of chain transmission include the possibility to convey either small or significant powers with high security and in a positive way, with limited obstruction and good output. If the industrial chain is chosen correctly and suitably lubricated, such output can reach 98%.
Then there is the high grade of elasticity of the links and, therefore, the tendency to neutralize most of the discontinuity of the transmission and moderate “tearing”.
The shafts and the supports are only subject to the “draught” in correspondence to the twisting moment, by conveying, practically without supplementary forces due to preloads and stress (which occurs instead with belts). Therefore, their dimensions can be reduced to the minimum; with chain transmission, the stress operating on the supports doesn’t usually exceed 1,5/4 times the peripheral stress transmitted by the chain itself.
The chain can work effortlessly at relatively high temperatures, up to 180°C, with the only presupposition of suitable lubrication, which is entirely impossible with belts. Further benefits of chains compared to belts include:
- Absence of sliding between the chain and the gear teeth
- Negligible settlement, which permits the chain to convey heavy loads
- Long working life expectancy, due to the contact of deflection and friction between the support and the surfaces, treated and separated by a layer of grease.
- Industrial chains can work in hostile settings like high temperatures, high humidity, greasy, dusty or dirty areas, corrosive zones, etcetera, especially if alloy metal or other special materials are used.
- Long life in stock: with specific oil protection, industrial chains last long without deterioration.
- Roller chains can easily be replaced on-site without involving other components mounted on the same system.
The durability of a roller chain is often the object of criticism because the general opinion is that such components aren’t long-lasting. It isn’t necessarily true, as it depends on numerous factors that are often not considered and to which very scarce attention is paid. Therefore, the chains frequently work in impossible conditions, causing poor performance.
However, in adequate conditions – properly chosen chain, suitable type, good manufacturing, transmission designed and mounted correctly – roller chains’ lifespan is always considerable.
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