Tsubaki improves durability of asphalt equipment
The asphalt industry presents some considerable challenges for the equipment that is required to process the aggregates (especially in terms of dust) which can cause significant reliability issues. For one maintenance and repair company in France, a large part of the solution was provided by installing higher specification drive chain which delivered greatly improved reliability.
Maintaining equipment in the asphalt industry is a full time business due, in part, to the nature of the product. While the original equipment is designed to cope with the harsh conditions of aggregate processing, the long term reliability of the equipment may not have been optimised.
One such example was an asphalt conveyor which uses 16 short chain loops to drive the individual rollers of the conveyor which are effectively connected in series, meaning that one chain failure will result in a complete stoppage. The dust generated by the processing operation sticks to the lubricated chains and prevents the lubrication from penetrating into the bearing areas where it is needed.
The reduced lubrication caused uneven wear, chain elongation and corrosion, all of which significantly reduced the service life of the chain. The maintenance company wanted to improve the overall reliability of the repairs that it was making in order to provide better value and satisfaction for its customers.
Having identified the drive chain as an area for potential improvement, Tsubaki was asked to suggest an alternative chain design for this application that would improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs. The solution was the premium RS16B-1 LAMBDA chain with the latest N.E.P. (New Environmental Plating) coating.
The Lambda 'lube-free' chain uses a special oil-impregnated bush in combination with a specially coated pin to provide long term lubrication which reduces maintenance costs and prevents dust contamination. Each component of the chain is engineered to provide a greatly extended service life compared to competing products and thereby deliver reliability and peace of mind to the customer.
The Tsubaki product retains the same strength as carbon steel chain, but, in addition, has undergone a special surface treatment process. The link plates, bushes and bearing pins of the chain have a special three-stage coating applied in order to provide the maximum protection from the operating or environmental conditions. In addition, the chain rollers have a special coating designed to resist corrosive conditions and the severe dynamic contact between roller and sprocket.
This enhanced design provided a significant improvement over the original equipment fitted to the conveyor in terms of reduced downtime, higher productivity and reduced maintenance costs. The combination of the 'lube-free' Lambda chain design and the N.E.P. coating can deliver greatly improved reliability, even in the harshest of operating conditions.
N.E.P. Chain is also suitable for use in environments exposed to seawater, acid rain and other adverse operating conditions. Environmentally compliant, N.E.P. chain also offers the advantage of not containing any chemically hazardous substances such as Hexavalent Chromium, Lead, Cadmium and Mercury, as regulated by RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances).
Kilowatt ratings for N.E.P. chain are the same as those for corresponding sizes of Tsubaki standard BS chain, but with a higher working temperature range: -10°C to +150°C. For operations above 60°C a special high temperature lubricant is required, which is available from Tsubaki Europe.