Types of Tabletop Plastic Chain
May 08, 2020
Modular plastic chain conveyors are infinitely configurable to fit the needs of any application. That configurability goes right down to the chain itself. There are a variety of chains available depending on the product being conveyed, the speeds required and the angle of any elevation changes.
Plain chain is the standard for most applications, offering a flat top on which the product rides. It’s compatible with most products and features a low coefficient of friction, which makes it good for accumulation applications. Elevation changes up to 5° are possible with plain chain.
For products that are sensitive to scratching or marking, flocked chain is available. It adds a soft black fabric on top of plain chain that helps prevent scratching. Lightweight products may be accumulated on flocked chain.
The TPU friction insert allows these chains to tackle inclines up to 25° with a wide variety of products. Conveyor systems are often split at inclines to allow friction chain to be used on only the incline portion.
Molded Friction Chain
These chains include a friction insert molded into the chain, allowing them to achieve the same 25° inclines of friction chain, but with a lower profile that aids the transfer of products between conveyors.
Cleated chain features a 15mm (.6”) cleat molded into the top of the chain that provides positive part movement in steeply inclined applications. Customers may specify the distance between cleats.
For wider chains, a gap can open between links as they go around a turn. In order to eliminate this potential pinch point, safety chain is recommended when worker will be near these conveyors. It features a “fin” that covers the trailing gap. Learn more in this blog post about safety chain.
For gripper elevators (aka wedge conveyors), special chains are used to grip the product between them. Learn more about these chains in our blog post on gripper elevators.
In addition to a choice of chain surfaces, there are also a variety of base materials available depending on the application.
Acetal POM is the standard base material compatible with most products. POM is off-white in color.
Anti-Static chains utilize PermaStat POM to prevent static discharge. They’re typically used in electronics and electronic component applications. Anti-Static chain is black in color.
Chains can also be reinforced with Kevlar for applications involving high speeds or abrasive products. This reduces the incidence of chain dust in these applications that can lead to reduced performance. Kevlar chain is a pale yellow color.
Our Applications Engineering team is ready to help guide you in choosing the right chain for your application, including testing products with different materials to determine the best fit.
Not all chains are available for all conveyor sizes; please consult the individual size pages on our site to see the chains available. Some chain surface types may not be available with a Kevlar or anti-static base.
Posted in Blog and tagged