How Do Conveyor Chains Work?


Quick Answer

Conveyor chains work by constantly moving a length of chain between two sprockets and placing items on top of the chains. As the chain travels between the two sprockets, friction keeps the objects in place and moves them from one location to another. Conveyor chains are very useful for moving durable items such as pallets and metal manufacturing products.

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Full Answer

Conveyor chains are very similar to conveyor belts, with the primary difference being that chain systems are much more durable and less maintenance-intensive than those that use belts. Many conveyor chain manufacturers even produce protective polyurethane and rubber belts that fit over conveyor chains, making them suitable for conveying less resilient items. However, conveyor belts are still more appropriate for very fragile items.

One advantage conveyor chains have over conveyor belts or rollers is that expanding conveyor chain systems to accommodate larger items is generally very simple. Because conveyor chains are very narrow, placing several conveyor chains side by side is relatively easy for manufacturers to do, while similarly expanding a belt or roller system is much more complicated and expensive.

Because conveyor chains only contact items in narrow bands, they are very useful for painting and powder coating applications. While items on conveyor belts or rollers have an entire side that paint sprayers cannot access, sprayers can cover virtually all of a product placed on a conveyor chain. This is particularly useful for items too heavy or cumbersome to suspend from an overhanging conveyor.

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