Guide to conveyor chain lubrication
In order for a conveyor chain to perform well the bearing surface must be lubricated.
Although all FB conveyor chains are lubricated before they leave the factory, relubrication should be carried out after installation and at regular intervals as a preventative measure. Correct lubrication will minimise power absorbtion, wear rate, corrosion and noise.
In normal conditions and operating temperatures a quality mineral oil with medium viscosity will e.g. SAE 20W50 will suffice. However, for specific application environments see the information below.
Conveyor chains operating in certain industries will require specialist lubricants to avoid contamination or spoiling of the product being conveyed. Those working in the food, tobacco, water, textiles, hospital and nuclear industries should contact a lubricant specialist for advice.
Conveyor chains operating in low temperatures between -60° and 0° C require specialist low temperature water repellent grease to prevent condensation from freezing on the chain and halting articulation.
Up to 160° C a wet film lubricant should be used. These types of lubricants are usually solid greases which are dispersed in a chlorinated hydrocarbon solvent. This allows the lubricant to penetrate into the joints of the chain.
For temperatures over 160° C a dry-film non-carbonising lubricant should be used.
Conveyor chains operating in dusty environments should be lubricated with a dry-film lubricant to prevent dust adherance. The chain must be periodically cleaned and relubricated to remove any build up.
Conveyor chains in water plants typically operate above the water level and so require a lubricant that is adhesive enough not to drip into and, therefore, contaminate drinking water. Heavy greases are usually the most effective.
Conveyor chains operating in sewage treatment works are often submerged in the water and so it is impossible to lubricate them regularly. In this case those responsible for ordering chains should ask for materials and manufacturing processes which are specifically suited to continuously wet environments. Where chains are accessible for lubrication, water-repellent grease should be used.
Relubrication of conveyor chains exposed to solvents is not usually possible as it might contaminate the product i.e. the solvent. Lubrication suppliers should be contacted for specialist advice.
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