For generations, leaders in the manufacturing and agriculture world have looked to chain systems as a way to transfer the power needed for their toughest applications. Stainless steel chain is particularly valuable, due to its structural integrity and ability to consistently withstand environmental stresses over time. Manufacturing products need to mesh perfectly with the highest quality standards of each component of your machine, which means that having the right chain for the job could mean the difference between success and an expensive failure. No matter your application, you need to be confident that your stainless steel roller chain was engineered and produced to the highest possible standards of excellence. Stainless steel roller chains are often used in situations where the possibility of rust is an issue, such as the manufacturing of food, chemicals or medicine, or when you're in a situation that doesn't allow you to tightly control the temperature. This guide will help you better understand the value of stainless steel chain and how to utilize it for your next project.
Why Should You Choose a Stainless Steel Roller Chain?
Stainless steel roller chain is quite different from carbon steel roller chain in a variety of ways. While the construction and sizes of stainless steel chains are the same as traditional ANSI standard roller chains, the parts are formed from high-grade stainless steel for use in medical, food applications, chemicals and more. While slightly more expensive than traditional roller chains, stainless steel offers a wide range of benefits:
- Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant at high temperatures
- Extremely low temperatures do not cause problems as these chains are not subject to cracking
- Stainless steel is glossy and attractive, giving the appearance of cleanliness for indoor or food-related applications
While there are plenty of positive reasons to use stainless steel roller chain, it's important to have the entire picture before selecting this type of chain for your application. While still strong, stainless steel has less tensile strength of comparable ANSI roller chains and these chains also may wear more quickly than their carbon steel counterparts. The surface hardness of stainless steel is lower as the parts are not heat-treated with tempering and quenching. In many applications, you'll find that the stainless steel roller chains retain more heat, which further affects the tensile strength and wear life of the product.
PEER Chain Maintains the Highest Possible Testing Standards
While there are plenty of other stainless steel chain suppliers in the U.S., you need to know that your supplier stands by the chain that you purchase. Stainless steel chain is an investment in the success of your project, but there are a range of standards that should be considered before you make a decision on which chain to purchase. At PEER Chain, we perform a variety of tests that allow us to ensure that each item we provide to our customers is up to our high standards. Each chain and attachment that is provided by PEER Chain is required to go through rigorous testing and meet internationally-accepted standards such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This ensures that stainless steel chains are not only guaranteed to fit your project and work seamlessly but that they will also last longer than chains that are not manufactured based on these specific requirements.
The testing requirements at PEER Chain include:
- Wear life of the chain
- The fatigue that the chain or attachment can be expected to withstand
- Each chain must meet the correct length and other standard measurements
- The hardness of the chain is also tested
By testing the usable life of the chains that we offer, PEER Chain has been able to maintain its leadership position in the chain industry for more than half a century. We have invested in a range of unique solutions that allow us to quickly review and test chains and accessories to be sure they meet our exacting standards of excellence. Our engineers and staff are continually reviewing chain fittings and other parts to ensure that every shipment that leaves our warehouse will live up to our exacting requirements. It is recommended that stainless steel not be used in situations where you will be passing between a chilly environment and a warmer one, in which dew can form and freeze on the chains. This can cause chain breakage, noise and even difficulty in articulation for the chains. It's also important to note that corrosion is not always as visible on the stainless steel chain as it is on carbon steel chains, which can lead users to underestimate the wear left on the chains.
Why Quality Matters for Stainless Steel Chain
Chain manufacturers are continually looking for ways to improve the wearability and the quality of chains. When it comes to chains, quality means that you have a measure of consistency that helps you estimate the wear life of a particular part within your system. This is extremely important when you are setting schedules for mechanical updates, as downtime in any type of manufacturing or industrial situation can be incredibly expensive. When you are confident that your stainless steel chain is a high-quality product, you are not risking problems with your expensive machinery, either.
It's vital that you always work with stainless steel chain suppliers that are able to provide quality guarantees. You need to know that all chains and attachments are being tested to determine whether they meet exacting quality standards. Plus, when you work with a trusted supplier, even if there is a problem you can rest assured that it will be resolved quickly and to your expectations without any waste of time or frustrations. Not all chain manufacturers are the same, but your chain supplier will be able to help you determine exactly the right solution for your unique situation -- even recommending whether or not stainless steel chain is the right option to provide long-term value for your operations.
Applications for Stainless Steel Chain
Stainless steel chains are broadly used in a variety of different applications, where it's important to have a clean, corrosion-free chain that can handle the rigors of extreme hot and cold temperatures. Some of the industries utilizing stainless steel chain include:
- Farming and agricultural operations, where food will be coming into contact with the chains. Since processing plants utilize chlorine or water-based environments, stainless steel is the obvious choice for these applications.
- Cryogenic applications are a particular strength of stainless steel chains, as the chains will not become brittle under even the most extreme cold temperatures.
- Food-based conveyors or hospital situations are an ideal use of stainless steel chains, due to the easy ability of the chains to retain a clean surface. Little maintenance is required for stainless steel and the material is even 100% recyclable. Since any use in the food industry requires adherence to hygienic standards and legal requirements, it's vital that you are able to trust your stainless steel supplier to complete the necessary quality testing.
- When chains will be visible to the public, stainless steel is often utilized due to the shiny and attractive finish on the chains. The look is bright and modern, allowing for easy cleanup.
- Pure water environments are ideal for stainless steel, particularly in the lower alloyed-grades. This refers to water and wastewater treatment facilities, where chains may need to meet special requirements for long-term water use.
There are several different grades of stainless steel chains offered by PEER Chains, the 304 Series, 600 Series and the 316 Series. Each of these stainless steel roller chains has a specific use in various industries. Our engineers can help you determine which grade of stainless steel is right for your application. Fortunately, stainless steel can be easily fabricated to work with a variety of different applications, allowing it to be just as versatile as carbon steels.
Are you ready to learn more about the various types of stainless steel chains and how they can be used for your unique applications? Contact the professionals at PEER Chain today at 800-523-4567 or via email to [email protected] for more information. Our friendly and knowledgeable team has been working with stainless steel roller chains and accessories for more than a generation, providing exceptional customer service and proactive support for your purchase. We ensure that all chains leaving our facility have been tested and are of the highest possible quality. Our team races to ensure that each order we receive is completed and shipped in a timely manner because we know that your project may be waiting on exactly the right chain to get moving again!