REDwire Why you should never use old sprockets with new chains

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When sprockets are not changed together with the chain, it can lead to as much as a 25 per cent reduction in chain life for each additional installation on the same sprockets.

It’s one of the most common mistakes made when replacing a roller chain — not changing the sprockets at the same time. However, it’s an essential step to ensure the most efficient operation of your chain. 

This is the message of a recent blog posted on Tsubaki of Canada’s website. 

The author writes that changing the sprockets on simple drives is not expensive and will not add significantly to the bottom line of the job. However, ignoring the sprockets can have an ill effect on overall chain life or performance, and add increased costs down the road. 

Many users do not replace the sprockets at the same time because the sprockets don’t look like they need to be replaced. In reality, the pocket in the sprocket does have minor wear and will adversely affect subsequent chain life. The chain will not fit properly in the pocket, causing an improper articulation of the chain. 

The result? Chordial action (the natural rise and fall of the chain as it articulates the sprocket) is increased and vibration becomes an issue. 

“This all puts added stress on the chain and therefore added tension,” the author writes. “This will lead to additional wear and, in more extreme cases, premature failures.” 

In general terms, according to Tsubaki, when sprockets are not changed together with the chain, it can lead to as much as a 25 per cent reduction in chain life for each additional installation on the same sprockets. This can add to additional downtime and lost production. 

To avoid these additional costs, it’s wise to change the sprockets at the same time.

Tsubaki is the largest global manufacturer of roller chains, producing many different types, sizes and varieties of drive, conveyor and engineered class chain, as well as sprockets and power transmission utility components. Tsubaki of Canada covers the Canadian market from its head office and production/distribution facility in Mississauga, Ont., and its warehouse facility in Edmonton, Alta. 


Tsubaki Of Canada Ltd.

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