Engineering solutions company BMG has designed a lubricant-free chain intended for environments with stringent hygiene standards such as the food and beverage industry.
BMG GM Carlo Beukes says the environmental-friendly Lambda chain is designed with a sintered oil impregnated bush where the chain is lubricated internally to avoid premature wear by 30%.
This extends the operating life of the chain without the need to maintain the chain or apply oil externally, with the same chain strength.
The chain features microscopic pores in the seamless sintered bush, which are filled with NSF-H1-rated food grade lubricant while most of the lubricant is kept there.
A NSF-rating of the lubricant indicates that it is approved by US-based nonprofit organisation National Sanitation Foundation.
Beukes notes that it is inevitable that small amounts of oil will migrate to the surface of the chain.
“This is why the lubricant must be deemed suitable for the food industry.”
An H1 rating indicates that the lubricant can safely be used in an environment where it can accidentally come in contact with food, H2 means it must only be used if there is no possibility of contact with food and H3 lubricants, which are edible oils, are used in location where it is likely to come in contact with food.
The food and beverage industry and various other industries use processes involving heating and cooling.
The Lambda chain has been shot-peened for higher fatigue strength and to operate safely and efficiently in an ambient temperature range between –10 ˚C and 150 ˚C.
The surfaces of the outer and inner link plates are blackened with limonite (Fe403) for improved corrosion resistance and there is smooth engagement with the sprocket and less wear on the sprocket teeth because of the durable roller.
There is also a significant reduction in the risk of the chain breaking because the steel alloy has undergone heat treatment.
Other features of the Lambda series include easy cutting, a patented ring coining process, high productivity, the easy inter- changeability of chains and sprockets and fewer maintenance requirements.
The patented ring coin connecting ring ensures the chain can be specified to its full chain capacity.
“This process increases the strength of the link plate around the pin holes to make sure the link retains the same strength and wear resistance as the rest of the chain. The elongation pattern of the chain is significantly stable, which reduces the need for intermediate chain and sprocket adjustment,” he says.
He notes that this also contributes to an increased service life.
The chains undergo an immaculate manufacturing process to ensure dimensional accuracy, constant geometry, high surface quality and extended service life.
“Owing to the life span of this chain, it is important to install sprockets with hardened teeth with every application,” Beukes concludes.