Conveyor systems universally use drop forged rivetless chain. Throughout the world, there are millions of feet used in several types of industrial plants. The chain gives steady reliable round-the-clock service to these industries. Approximately 90% of all overhead trolleys use conveyor chain of the drop forged rivetless sort. For the overhead trolley use, this type of chain has replaced virtually all other kinds of chain.
There are three main components of drop forged rivetless chain: center links, side links, and pins. The simplicity of the design and construction of the chain makes it easy to replace links or sections without loss of time; assembling or disassembling is a simple, speedy operation. In addition to the main components, a variety of trolleys, attachments and pusher dogs can be used to fit the specific needs of a plant's conveyor line.
A trolley is essentially a wheel that mounts to a conveyor chain to enable it to move on an I-beam or in a steel channel. The chain may be equipped with attachments to allow parts to attach to the conveyor line for processing. Pusher dogs are engaged at key points along the system to initiate specific events.
The parts of this chain are simply and quickly reversed without special tools or equipment to allow for assembly or disassembly of the chain to increase their life and lower the cost of replacement. Furthermore, the design and manufacture of the chain stops it from becoming disconnected while in operation. Installing the chain is also relatively simple. Normally, the chain will be shipped in ten-foot lengths, which are fed into the system. They are then connected to each other by the turn of a conveyor pin.
Drop forged rivetless chain can be used overhead, or on the floor. When used overhead, the chain hangs from an I-beam with the trolleys above, and the load below. Chain that is used on the floor is referred to as inverted, as the trolleys are below the chain, while the load rides above it. The chain is propelled by conveyor drives, which engage the chain and move it through the system. Because of its flexible design, rivetless chain will operate over irregular paths with both horizontal and vertical changes in direction.
There are differences between conveyor chains. The factors of metallurgy, accurate forging, precise broaching, and well-controlled heat treatment give the particular qualities to the drop forged rivetless chain. High carbon steel, high alloy steel and microtuff materials are all common metals used in its manufacture. There are also several finishes utilized in its making like zinc, dichromate, or black diamond. These finishes are applied to the chain to enable it to operate well in differing environments.
Rivetless chain is available in the following sizes: X698, X678, X458 and X348. The larger the chain, the heavier the load it can sustain. Heavy-duty applications will likely call for X678 chain, which rides in 6-inch track and can have an ultimate tensile strength in excess of 125,000 pounds. Light manufacturing facilities may utilize X348 chain, which goes into 3-inch track and typically has an ultimate tensile strength of less than 40,000 pounds.
Because of its capability to satisfy a broad variety of requirements, drop forged rivetless chain is the go-to chain for many manufacturing companies. No less important is its ease of use and low cost of maintenance. These factors ensure the chain to remain a major technology in several areas of the manufacturing arena