The Complete Guide to Chain

5.4.3 Use in Abrasive Conditions

Strong abrasive materials, such as sand, coke, metal particles, or substantial amounts of dust in the air may affect the wear life of a chain. The particles may get into the chain's working parts and engaging parts between the chain and the sprockets. In this case, you can take these steps:

  1. Select a chain with hardened working parts. The parts need to be harder than the foreign objects.
  2. Reduce the bearing pressure by using a larger-sized chain. This increases the abrasion-wear area.

If you're operating conveyor chains in abrasive conditions, consider the following points:

  1. Select a chain with thicker bushings to increase the abrasion-wear area.
  2. Design the system so that the plates slide on the rails rather than roll on them. The bottom edge of the plate may accept much more abrasion wear than the area between the bushings and the rollers.
  3. Install many small rollers in the equipment, instead of rails. This is especially useful when conveying objects that cause significant wear.

In addition to causing wear, some objects may get into the working clearances of the chain, making it difficult or impossible for the chain to bend or rotate. In such cases, take the following steps:

  1. Use seals, such as oil seal, labyrinth seal, or O-ring seals, to prevent particles from getting into the chain. (Applicable size is limited.)
  2. Install a grease nipple and grease the chain regularly. Grease will force the particles from the chain. (Applicable size is limited.)
  3. Increase the clearances so that particles will fall out, even if they get into the chain. This is the most common method.
Table 5.3 Resistance to Corrosive Agents
Corrosive Agent Conc. Temp. (°C) Anti-corrosive Chain Sprockets
SS AS CS NS TI PC PC•SY Engineered
Acetone 20111111411
Oil (Vegetable, Mineral) 20111111111
Linseed Oil 20122111311
Sulfurous Acid Gas100%20144113331
Alcohol 20111111111
Ammonia (Aqueous 20111111111
Whiskey 20111111111
Ethyl Ether 20111111111
Zinc Chloride50%20244212142
Ammonium Chloride50%Boiling244113332
Potassium ChlorideSaturated20122113311
Calcium ChlorideSaturated20244112112
Ferric Chloride5%20244213342
Sodium Chloride5%20122111111
Hydrochloric Acid2%20444414144
Chlorine Gas (Dry) 20244213142
Chlorine Gas (Wet) 20444213144
Chlorine Water 20444114344
Oleic Acid 20111111311
Sea Water 20244112112
Sodium Perchlorate10%Boiling144113331
Sodium Peroxide30%20122114141
Gasoline 20111111111
Potassium Nitrate25%20111111311
Potassium Nitrate25%Boiling144113331
Vinegar 20244112122
Potassium Hydroxide20%20111111111
Calcium Hydroxide20%Boiling111111131
Sodium Hydroxide25%20111111111
Stearic Acid100%Boiling444114314
Beverage  111111111
Carbolic Acid 20111114141
Petroleum 20111111311
Water (Soapy) 20111111111
Soda Water  111113331
Sodium Hydrogen 20111111311
Sodium CarbonateSaturatedBoiling111113121
Sodium Thiosulfate25%Boiling111113331
Turpentine 35111113331
Kerosene 20111113131
Varnish  111113331
Nitric Acid65%20144114141
Nitric Acid65%Boiling244214442
Lactic Acid10%20122111311
Honey  111111111
Paraffin 20111111111

1 = High corrosion
2 = Partial corrosion resistance
3 = Unknown
4 = Not resistant

Bearing roller chain and bearing bush chain contain rotating elements, so they are very sensitive to particulate contamination. Make sure you install fixed seals when operating either of these.