When to Replace Your Chain

Rusty Chain

Metal chain is used in many applications ranging from lighting, porch swings, plumbing, trucking, transportation, aerospace, and other industrial uses. Knowing when to replace your chain is crucial in any of these applications. Healthy chain keeps these products functioning properly – any wear on the chain could cause critical damage to the rest of the product or machine, increase production costs, or cause injury.

Here are some key characteristics to note when checking for wear on your chain:

  • Pitch stretch: Pitch refers to the length of the chain link. When chain starts to wear out, the length of the chain, or pitch, starts to stretch and elongate. Measure the distance to ensure your chain has not started to stretch and compare this measurement with the measurement listed on the seller’s technical specifications.
  • Chain sagging: For some machines and products, the chain is tensioned to a bar, or in a machine. When chain starts to wear, it might start to sag because it has lost the ability to stay properly connected. If you keep operating on a sagging chain, the chain could snap and break.
  • Wire diameter: If there are consecutive links in contact, moving against each other, you might get wear on the actual diameter from the constant rubbing. This is an area of concern because the chain links could eventually break.

Make sure to inspect your chain consistently for any signs of wear. In machine use, if you do not update your chain in a timely manner, parts of the machine such as bushing and pins could start to wear down. To help reduce wear on your chain, be sure to adhere to recommended working load limits, do not twist, and avoid corrosion and misuse. If you are using this chain with machinery, be sure to use the recommended amount of lubrication to reduce wear.

When you are ready to replace worn chain, Perfection Chain Products has a variety of options to fit your needs.

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