Tsubakimoto delivers innovation to the asphalt industry
The asphalt industry is under constant pressure to deliver fresh, hot asphalt to the road paving companies. It is a process that cannot afford a broken link in the supply chain. Reliability in the equipment used both for production and for installation is paramount, with lost production time having a significant and cumulative knock-on effect. With this in mind, Tsubaki has developed a range of drive chain solutions that have proven highly effective in reducing costs.
Tsubaki, one of the world's leading manufacturers of premium quality chain products, has invested considerable research and development into the design and production of its products. One that has proven to be a considerable success is the GT4 Winner chain which provides excellent performance in harsh environments.
One example of an application which benefits from the high quality chain is in the Netherlands, where one of the country's largest asphalt mills had been experiencing reliability issues with a 16B-1 drive chain that was used on a conveyor for transporting raw materials. Faced with frequent periods of lost production and high maintenance costs, the maintenance engineer requested Tsubaki to investigate and develop an alternative solution. The root cause was established as a lack of lubrication reaching the bearing faces of the chain which was causing chain elongation and subsequent failure. The proposed solution was to install the latest RS16B-1 GT4 Winner chain in order to reduce wear and prolong the operating life. The customer agreed to a trial period to test the results of the new chain.
Derek Mack, Tsubaki UK Sales Director, comments: "It is important to consider the total life costs when specifying components such as roller chain which will be subjected to very real wear. A product that is a little cheaper to purchase may require twice the levels of in-service maintenance and still last half the time. GT4 Winner chain has been proven to last longer than any other chain on the market and requires minimal servicing once installed."
As part of the solution, Tsubaki agreed to take part in a KG-test comparison with two other premium brands of chain.
The KG test is one of the most effective ways of testing different chains in an equal environment; ensuring a fair comparison between different chain types. A single length of chain is created using two or three different chain types. It is then left to run in-the-field and, once finished, separated and re-measured to compare the degrees of elongation.
The benefit of the KG test over other chain comparison tests is that the chain is tested in real-life applications rather than a test facility. Therefore they are subjected to the rigours of the industry that they will perform in and the results give a true indication of wear life.
In this instance the test ran for 1,000 hours in the real-life application. The results showed that one of the competitor chains had suffered from 2.2% elongation and the other from 1.51%, while the GT4 Winner chain had only seen a 1.29% increase in length. This demonstrated to the customer that the GT4 Winner chain had 15% less elongation than the first premium brand and 35% less than the second. Tsubaki advises replacement of a chain once elongation reaches 1.5%, meaning that both competitor brands had reached the end of their useful service life within 1,000 hours.
The GT4 Winner is one of the most advanced chains that Tsubaki produces, with four key features that are designed to reduce wear and chain elongation. Lube-grooved bushes hold oil at the point of contact which provides an internal reservoir for lubricant where the chain needs it most. The Seamless and perfectly cylindrical bushes result in both better contact between the pin and bush and improved lubricant retention.
As a result of installing the GT4 Winner chain, the customer has improved the service life of the drive chains, reduced the replacement costs and increased reliability and productivity.