Since the industrial revolution, the design of roller chains has remained relatively stable. Most of the development has, however, been focused on increasing chain load ratings, chain durability and lifespan.
Questions? Contact us on how to measure chain ratings!
Measuring the Quality and Durability of PEER Chain Products
In addition to improving safety, these advances have reduced total costs while improving operational productivity. Steel production combined with the development of processing techniques led to the height of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s. Roller chains made their debut in 1880 as a result of these advances. A pair of bushings hold the inner links of the roller chain together. The rollers, however, rotate freely over the bush. This design improved chain ratings, performance and durability by reducing friction between the chain and sprocket.
Anti-erosion has helped a lot with durability and strength, as well. Rust has always been an issue with chains used to drive applications in wet, saline and chemical environments. As a result of corrosion, chain weight ratings can drop, causing them to perform less efficiently, become contaminated and fail prematurely.
At PEER Chain, we take quality and durability seriously. Our reputation as one of the premier chain distributors in the United States and beyond is based on our refusal to accept only industry-leading quality from our manufacturers. When paired with our top-notch customer service, it's easy to see why PEER Chain continues to be the go-to source for anyone who needs trusted and reliable chains for their business operations.
How to Measure Chain Quality and Ratings
Knowing the chain load ratings for a specific application is always essential. The term Working Load Limit (WLL) is a chain rating that refers to the maximum amount of tension that can be applied to a new and undamaged chain. It is a rated capacity and often referred to in pounds. The Working Load Limit is calculated by dividing the minimum breaking strength of the chain by the assigned safety factor rating. The grade and diameter of the chain are also used to determine the Working Load Limit. Usage, wear, twists, overloading, corrosion, alteration and misuse all affect the chain load rating of any chain. To ensure the chain is safe for continued use, it should be regularly inspected.
The use of chains in some applications requires stronger and longer-lasting roller chains. Chains that meet those requirements must be stronger and more durable than standard roller chains. In addition to single strand chains, we also offer multi-strand chains that meet these criteria. For more demanding applications, Heavy Series chains with through-hardened pins and Super Series chains — both available with ASME series side plates and Heavy Series side plates — are available.
As you’re probably well aware, one of the most important reasons why the chain load ratings are so vital is because it helps identify which chain types are strong enough and can withstand overhead lifting. There’s always some type of danger probability when it comes to moving or lifting a load. The ground supports the load if we move the load along with it, but we must overcome the coefficient of friction to move it, and the chain's Working Load Limit need not match the weight of the load. As soon as we lift that same load off the ground, gravity must be overcome. Therefore, the chain weight ratings must support the weight of the load plus the additional forces imposed by the angles and hitch type(s) used. A chain of Grade 70 is preferred for securing loads, but any grade can be used for tying downs or tensioning. It is imperative that you know your tensions in order to choose the correct chain.
Additionally, PEER Chains offers chains that comply with API (American Petroleum Institute) standards. In combination with roller chains, roller chain sprockets have teeth around a central bore, and they are used for transporting conveyors and other industrial machinery. A fixed bore sprocket is designed to fit a specific shaft size and includes a keyway and setscrew so they can be installed quickly. Sprockets without keyways or set screws are referred to as plain bores. Depending on the shaft and application, keyways or set screws can be machined to the exact size required. When a shaft is at risk of slipping, such as in paper mills and agricultural machinery, bushed bores provide more clamping area around the shaft.
Chains will be able to withstand a certain amount of force before they break, known as their Working Load Limit. A chain's working load limit is a third of its break strength. Different chain grades and materials have been appropriately differentiated for safety reasons as well as for their specific applications. For the use, testing, manufacturing and repair of chains, safety standards and regulations were published. As a safety measure, chains are classified into grades based on the ultimate breaking strength of the chain.
Which Chain Do I Need?
Our experienced chain experts excel at ensuring that you get the roller chain ratings or chain weight ratings that will keep your project or machinery moving again. A variety of sprockets are available for use in forestry, machinery and everything in between. Selecting the right sprocket is just as crucial as choosing the right chain — mismatches can cause catastrophic damage to expensive machinery and can even cause dangerous accidents.
If you're replacing an entire system, you may need a matching chain to go along with your sprocket. It is possible to extend the overall life of your machinery if you replace both of these items at once. As a result of sagging chains, inefficiencies can cause other parts to disfigure due to inconsistent pressure or slippage. Changing the sprocket alone may not solve your issue. Moving forward, the good news is that our team will work along with you and your team to diagnose any issues as well as make recommendations for the most cost-effective path.
We have built a reputation on offering not only high-quality, trusted chains that are guaranteed to meet or exceed chain load ratings, but also exceptional support. Our online resources offer a wealth of knowledge and our sales team is here to help configure the appropriate chain and accessories for your unique needs. Since we specialize in chains, our team has the benefit of decades of experience -- which we can quickly leverage to get you back to work in no time! Downtime can be extremely expensive. Let us reduce the costs associated with not being able to fully utilize your equipment and keep your systems working efficiently.
What the PEER Chain Technical Center Offers You
As a provider of engineering information to our customers, PEER Chain's Technical Center is an essential tool. In the PEER Chain Technical Center, wear life, fatigue, tensile strength, chain length and hardness are just a few of the tests conducted to achieve maximum chain performance. Our goal is to meet (and exceed) customer expectations!
Testing the chain wear life of our chain gives us a better understanding of how long our chain outlasts our competition. In order to achieve a level of dynamic performance that gets better over time, we always test our chains at various loads and speeds. This helps get better results and helps us fine-tune our products moving forward. PEER Chains exceed the ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) standards for our industry. Our chain is made with the highest standards and materials to ensure quality that our customers find to be the highest in the chain industry. The ASME has replaced the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) as the governing body for setting acceptance and interchangeability criteria in the American chain industry.
After assembling a chain, all of our products are pre-stretched, which is when a new chain is loaded onto it. Preloading of the chain mimics a normal load pattern during operation while also eliminating certain clearances, which are present immediately after chain assembly. Chains can also be supplied with a higher prestretch upon request. This allows us to verify that chain load ratings meet or exceed the most stringent quality standards.
About Peer Chain and How to Contact Us
For decades, PEER Chain has been distributing chains and sprockets that are manufactured to the exacting OEM standards. We don’t sell directly to consumers or retail locations, only to manufacturers and industrial distributors. PEER Chain started in 1944 in Chicago, and to this day, we’re still a family-owned business. Our headquarters are located in Waukegan, Illinois. Contact PEER Chain at 888-630-5718 or use our contact form to reach one of our knowledgeable sales associates.
If you're not finding the exact product that you need on our website, we may be able to manufacture a solution that will meet your needs. We appreciate each of our clients from around the world, and enjoy solving even the most difficult problems with our hard-working chains and accessories!