Roller Chain Drives
Maintenance Recommendations
INSTRUCTIONS
 

WHEN DISASSEMBLING OR ASSEMBLING CHAINS:
WARNING - The components of a chain are hardened parts. Striking these parts may cause metal chips to break off from the chain or the tools used resulting in personal injury. During all stages of chain disassembly and assembly, wear safety glasses to prevent metal parts or chips from entering your eyes and have personnel in the immediate area do likewise.
A. Pin Removal
  1. If chain is of cotterpin-type construction, remove cotters.
  2. It chain is riveted-type construction, grind pin heads off so pin ends are flush with the linkplate.
  3. Drive pins out of linkplate using a Diamond pin extractor Model # 113 or 135. Some multiple strand chains or large pitch models will require a hammer and punch or a press to remove the pins.
B. Installation of Coversides
Diamond coversides are manufactured three different ways:
  1. Slip Fit
  2. Modified Press Fit
  3. Full Press Fit
Modified and Full Press Fits require some patience and tools to assemble and/or disassemble.
 
C. Installation of Spring Locks and Cotterpins
After coversides have been installed, install spring locks or cotters (depending on chain design). Avoid using bent or worn cotters or spring locks. After spring locks (or cotters) are installed, lightly tap pin ends to position these parts snug against the coverside for additional support.
WHEN INSTALLING CHAIN DRIVES ON EQUIPMENT:
WARNING - You may be seriously injured if you attempt to install chain on equipment under power. Shut off power and lock out gears and sprockets before attempting installation.
Once installed, the chain drive must be guarded to prevent personal injury or property damage in the event the chain separates during operation. If chain drive is not guarded, contact equipment manufacturer for recommendations on guarding before using equipment. 
Knowing more about how the chain is constructed may help in assembly and disassembly.
 
 
All chain drives should receive regular maintenance. Each drive should be inspected after the initial 100 hours of operation. Thereafter, most drives may be inspected at 500 hour intervals. However, drives subjected to shock loads or severe operating conditions should be inspected at 200 hour intervals.
At each inspection, the following items should be checked and corrected, if necessary.
1. Check lubrication -
    On slow speed drives, where manual lubrication is used, be sure the lubrication schedule is being followed. If the chain is covered with dirt and debris, clean the chain with kerosene and relubricate it.
    WARNING! NEVER USE GASOLINE OR OTHER FLAMMABLE SOLVENTS TO CLEAN A CHAIN. A FIRE MAY RESULT.
    If drip lubrication is used, check for adequate oil flow and proper application to the chain. With bath or pump lubrication, check oil level and add oil if needed. Check oil for contamination and change oil if needed. Change oil after the first 100 hours of operation and each 500 hours thereafter. If pump lubrication is used, check each orifice to be sure it is clear and is directing oil onto the chain properly.
2. Check Chain Tension -
    Check chain tension and adjust as needed to maintain the proper sag in the slack span. If elongation exceeds the available adjustment, remove two pitches and reconnect the chain.
3. Check Chain Wear -
    Measure the chain wear elongation and if elongation exceeds functional limits or is greater than 3% (.36 inches in one foot) replace the entire chain. Do not connect a new section of chain to a worn chain because it may run rough and damage the drive. Do not continue to run a chain worn beyond 3% elongation because the chain will not engage the sprockets properly and it may damage the sprockets.
 
4. Check Sprocket Tooth Wear -
    Check for roughness or binding when the chain engages or disengages from the sprocket. Inspect the sprocket teeth for reduced tooth section and hooked tooth tips. If these conditions are present, the sprocket teeth are excessively worn and the sprocket should be replaced. Do not run new chain on worn sprockets as it will cause the new chain to wear rapidly. Conversely, do not run a worn chain on new sprockets as it will cause the new sprockets to wear rapidly.
5. Check Sprocket Alignment -
    If there is noticeable wear on the inside surface of the chain roller linkplates, the sprockets may be misaligned. Realign the sprockets as outlined in the installation instructions to prevent further abnormal chain and sprocket wear.
6. Check for Drive Interference -
    Check for interference between the drive and other parts of the equipment. If there is any, correct it immediately. Interference can cause abnormal and potentially destructive wear on the chain or the interfering part. If the edges of the chain linkplates impact against a rigid part, linkplate fatigue and chain failure can result.
    Check for and eliminate any buildup of debris or foreign material between the chain and sprockets.
    A RELATIVELY SMALL AMOUNT OF DEBRIS IN THE SPROCKET ROLL SEAT CAN CAUSE TENSILE LOADS GREAT ENOUGH TO BREAK THE CHAIN IF FORCED THROUGH THE DRIVE.
7. Check for Failure -
    Inspect the chain for cracked, broken or deformed parts. If any of these conditions are found, REPLACE THE ENTIRE CHAIN, even though portions of the chain appear to be in good condition. In all likelihood, the entire chain has been damaged.
 
 


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