The Complete Guide to Chain

7.1.4 Lubrication

Power transmission chains and small pitch conveyor chains are usually prelubricated with rust-prevention oil before shipping. Nevertheless, it is essential to lubricate roller chain. Properly lubricated chain has a longer wear life and is less likely to develop rust.

Lubricate the chain where the tension is minimal, applying the lubricant in the clearance between the link plates (Figure 7.8).

Figure 7.9 shows the lubrication method and type of oil. Table 7.1 shows suggested lubricants for low-speed operation. If your operation runs at high speeds or in very high or low temperatures, refer to the manufacturer's catalog for information on proper lubrication.

Figure 7.8 Lubricate Chain in the Clearance Between Link Plates
Figure 7.8 Lubricate Chain in the Clearance Between Link Plates

Table 7.1 Suggested Lubricants
Chain No. Ambient Temperature Range
−10°C - 0°C 0°C - 40°C 40°C - 50°C 50°C - 60°C
RS50 and smallerSAE10WSAE20SAE30SAE40
RS120 and largerSAE30SAE40SAE50SAE60

  Method Quantity of Oil
Manual ApplicationManual Application.
Oil is applied with an oil filler or brush on the slack side of the chain.
Oil should be applied at fixed intervals, usually about every eight hours, or as often as necessary to prevent the bearing areas from becoming dry.
Drip LubricationDrip Lubrication.
A simple case can be used. Oil from the oil cup is supplied by drip feeding
Apply 5 to 20 drops of oil per minute for every strand of chain. Actual quantity depends on the speed
Oil Bath LubricationOil Bath Lubrication.
The chain is installed in a leak-free casing.
Chain should be submerged in oil 6 mm to 12 mm. If h is too large, the composition of the oil may change due to heat generated and lose some of its effectiveness.

Figure 7.9 Proper Lubrication Methods