5.1.2 Use of Steel Chains in Low Temperatures
When you use chains in low temperatures, the following problems may occur:
- Decrease in shock strength due to low-temperature brittleness.
- Lubricant solidification.
- Stiff joints caused by frost or ice.
Table 5.2 shows the power transmission capacity of drive chains at low temperatures.
|Operating Temperature||Standard Roller Chain (RS80)1||KT Type1|
|Below −60°C||Out of use||Out of use|
|−60°C to −50°C||Out of use||MAX × 1/2|
|−50°C to −40°C||Out of use||MAX × 2/3|
|−40°C to −30°C||MAX × 1/4||MAX|
|−30°C to −20°C||MAX × 1/3||MAX|
|−20°C to −10°C||MAX × 1/2||MAX|
|−10°C to +60°C||MAX||MAX|
1MAX = Maximum allowable load as shown in the manufacture's catalog
Two types of chain are especially useful at lower temperatures. KT-specification chain is specially heat-treated to withstand very cold environments. SS-specification chain, which is made of 304 stainless steel, may also be used at low temperatures. Low-temperature brittleness does not occur in austenitic stainless steel.
These chains cannot fix the problems of solidification of the lubricant or stiff joints caused by frost or ice. Use cold-temperature oil or grease and apply it to the inner clearances and the outside of the chain.