Roller chains are a type of mechanical linkage used for power transmission. In the case of engineering, you’ll see roller chains on industrial machinery or on conveyors. Consisting of interconnected links with cylindrical rollers that engage with toothed sprockets, roller chains create a reliable and efficient means of transmitting mechanical power. Despite how many other mechanical parts there are in the world of engineering, roller or industrial chains have distinct features and advantages that set them apart from the bearings and the couplings of this world. Let’s break these down.
What Sets a Roller Chain Apart From the Rest
Links are the stuff of roller chains, and they further divide into inner plans, outer plates, cylindrical rollers (which go between the inner and outer plates and also engage with the teeth of sprockets) and bushings (which go between the inner plates, outer plates and rollers, providing the latter with a pivot point).
Roller chains require toothed sprockets at both ends of the chain to engage with the rollers. The sprockets have teeth that fit into the gaps between the rollers, creating a positive engagement. Sprockets transmit power from one shaft to another.
The primary function of roller chains is to transmit power between two shafts in a linear or rotary motion. When force is applied to the chain, the rollers engage with the sprocket teeth, causing the chain to move and transfer the rotational or linear motion to the connected shaft.
Roller chains are known for their high power transmission capacity, durability and resistance to shock loads. They are widely used in applications where precision and reliability are essential. Roller chains can operate in challenging environments, making them suitable for industrial and heavy machinery.
Alternatives to a Conveyor Chain
Roller chains, also known as industrial or conveyor chains, work in tandem with many other mechanical parts. Earlier, we referenced couplings, and these connect two rotating shafts to transmit torque and motion. Often used for pumps, compressors and other machinery, couplings are essential for connecting shafts that don’t always align as seamlessly as would be ideal. Not only do they protect equipment, but they also reduce wear on bearings. If you could use a couple of couplings for your project, we have heaps in stock. Check our collection to see just how many!
Drive belts are also essential parts of many projects. Made from rubber, neoprene or sometimes other synthetic compounds, these flexible loops transfer power between two pulleys by generating tension and friction. You will find them in industrial machines, but also in automotive engines and even household appliances. Overall, drive belts will absorb shock and dampen vibration in a quiet, low-maintenance way of doing things. In many ways, they contrast the roller chain.
Shop Industrial Chains At Refast!
Whether you call them roller chains, conveyor chains or industrial chains, we have an abundance of them at Refast. Get in fast to get the chain you need for your industrial machinery! Anything you buy from Refast will be high-quality and highly specified to its intended purpose. If you want some help or want to know more about your favourite engineering components, reach out to our expert staff anytime, who can assist you with specialist knowledge or special-order in that missing piece just for you.