The Complete Guide to Chain

1.1.4 Functions of Chain Parts


The plate is the component that bears the tension placed on the chain. Usually this is a repeated loading, sometimes accompanied by shock. Therefore, the plate must have not only great static tensile strength, but also must hold up to the dynamic forces of load and shock. Furthermore, the plate must meet environmental resistance requirements (for example, corrosion, abrasion, etc.).

Figure 1.6 Basic Structure of Large Pitch Conveyor Chain
Figure 1.6 Basic Structure of Large Pitch Conveyor Chain


The pin is subject to shearing and bending forces transmitted by the plate. At the same time, it forms a load-bearing part, together with the bushing, when the chain flexes during sprocket engagement. Therefore, the pin needs high tensile and shear strength, resistance to bending, and also must have sufficient endurance against shock and wear.


The bushing is subject to shearing and bending stresses transmitted by the plate and roller, and also gets shock loads when the chain engages the sprocket.

In addition, when the chain articulates, the inner surface forms a load-bearing part together with the pin. The outer surface also forms a load-bearing part with the roller's inner surface when the roller rotates on the rail or engages the sprocket. Therefore, it must have great tensile strength against shearing and be resistant to dynamic shock and wear.


The roller is subject to impact load as it strikes the sprocket teeth during the chain engagement with the sprocket. After engagement, the roller changes its point of contact and balance. It is held between the sprocket teeth and bushing, and moves on the tooth face while receiving a compression load.

Furthermore, the roller's inner surface constitutes a bearing part together with the bushing's outer surface when the roller rotates on the rail. Therefore, it must be resistant to wear and still have strength against shock, fatigue, and compression.

Cotter Pin, Spring Clip, T-Pin

These are the parts that prevent the outer plate from falling off the pin at the point of connection. They may wear out during high-speed operation, therefore, for this application, these parts require heat treatment.