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Industrial Roller Chains


Motion control systems exist primarily to move a load from one place to another, with the motor playing a crucial role as it converts electrical input into mechanical energy. However, the motor’s output shaft must be connected to the load in order to move it, which is why roller chains are also vital for many industrial applications.

An industrial chain supplier like Yorkshire-based YB Components supplies multiple options such as leaf chains and drive chains. Often, moving a load simply requires the motor to be directly coupled to it, but when this isn’t possible then a popular option is to employ a roller chain.

What is a Roller Chain?

Roller chains are a simple method to transmit mechanical energy. They are designed like a normal chain link structure with multiple cylindrical rollers joined together by links. The chain is moved by a rotating sprocket connected to the motor, with the other end of the chain connected to the load.

Such chains are prone to a lot of wear and tear and need regular lubrication and eventually replacing, so drive chains suppliers are kept quite busy distributing these products regularly. Replacing roller chains when they become worn is important as their pitch increases and they become looser, creating instability in the motion control system.

Finding the right roller chains for your industrial application involves several important steps to ensure you identify the right product.

How to Select a Roller Chain

One way to select a roller chain is via the total rated power of the application (usually measured in kW). You can also choose a roller chain according to the maximum allowable load it will need to bear.

In either case, the first thing to be determined is the application’s orientation. Identify whether the orientation is an ordinary horizontal linear transmission, or whether it will be vertical, thus requiring a lifting action.

You will also need to know how much power needs to be transmitted from the motor to the chain in order to move the load. These calculations will help you determine the required diameter and speed of the driving and the driven shafts. The centre distance of the driving sprocket to the centre of the driven sprocket should also be part of your calculations for a truly accurate roller chain selection.

Once you have the information above you can select the chain size as well as the number of teeth needed for the small and large sprockets, the latter determined by the speed ratio. Roller chains manufacturers should provide a guide to help you from here.

The last item to consider is the chain length, which should be easy to identify from the manufacturer’s guide once you have all the other information described above.

If you require roller chains for an industrial motion control system  contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading drive chains suppliers. Yorkshire-based and with local stocks ready to ship out fast and free all over the UK and the rest of the world.