5.1 What Is Free Flow Chain?
A free flow conveyor system allows you to stop conveyed objects (with a stopper), while the chain (Figure 5.1) runs continuously underneath. After the stopper is released, conveying resumes (Figure 5.2).
It is possible to get free flow function even with standard RS (figure-eight side plates) roller chains by placing conveyed objects directly on the chains. However, during the accumulating mode, the chain will slide underneath, which may leave marks on the bottom of conveyed objects, and eventually leading to excessive wear.
Free flow chains were developed to eliminate the possibility of damaging conveyed objects during the accumulating mode. These chains are equipped with rollers that support conveyed objects. When accumulating, freely rotating rollers are in contact with the bottom side of goods conveyed, which ensures smooth and damage-free operation.
There are several types of free flow chains. Figure 5.3 shows the relation among various types of free flow chains.
Figure 5.2 Free Flow Conveyor System
Figure 5.3 Types of Free Flow Chains