Chain Drives Problems And Their Solutions

Chain drives have their problems just like any other instrument that can be used in power transmission. As these chain drives are used for a while they will develop some problems which will decrease their efficiency when it comes to power transmission.


When these problems develop in these chain drives, without immediate maintenance they might fail completely to transmit power.


Just like any element that is used in power transmission, couplings, gears and gear drives, clutches, brakes and friction drives need to be maintained and have a periodic check when they are frequently in use.


So, let’s get into the problems of chain drive first and I will list for you the solution later in the same article.


These are the problems in chain drives;

1. Excessive noise when they are in use.

This is one of the problems with chain drives.


Excessive noise is not required when using chain drives. These noises can bring negative effects on the operator.


The other thing is that also, the noise is not needed for the environment.


So, for this chain drive to work effectively these excessive noises should be reduced.


I will share with you the solution for this at the bottom of this article.


2. Too little or too much slack.

The slack of a chain drive should be moderate for effective power transmission.


For instance, if the chain drive will have too little slack then the power transmission of this chain drive won’t be effective.


Too much slack also reduces the efficiency of power transmission.


3. Chain climbing Sprocket.

This is the tendency of a chain drive to move out of line within the sprocket teeth and go above them.


When the chain drive goes above the teeth of the sprocket instead of being in mesh with it, the power transmission will be interfered and the efficiency of that machine will be reduced.


When working with any machine that uses a chain drive to transmit power the operator must ensure that the chain never climbs the sprocket as this can cause damage to the sprocket and it can eventually cause an accident.


4. The chain clings to the sprocket.

This is a situation when the chain gets stuck as it meshes with the sprocket.


So, when the chain clings to the sprocket, the power transmission will be interfered with.


For the power to be transmitted the chain drive has to move together with the sprocket and not cling on to it.


This is another problem in chain drives that should be fixed.


5. The chain gets stiff.

When a chain gets stiff it interferes with the efficiency of power transmission.


For drives to work effectively they should have a slack so that to have a better angle of contact with the sprocket.


This angle is provided when the chain is a little bit slack and not too stiff.


Solutions to chain drive problems.

1. Solution for excessive noise in chain drives.

In most cases, the noise in chain drives is usually caused by misalignment of the sprocket and lack of lubrication.


So, the correct solution for this problem is to make sure that the sprocket and the chain have a proper alignment.


You have to make sure that the chain and sprocket are in line for these excessive noises to be reduced.


You can also check on the lubrication of the chain. Lubricate the chain and see how it will operate when in use.


2. Solution for too little or too much slack in chains drives.

This too little or too much slack is usually caused by lack of lubrication, a loose casing of bearings, a worn-out chain or the sprocket.


The solution for this is to check the cause of the problem in your chain drive before doing any maintenance on it.


If the problem of this too much or little slack is caused by lack of lubrication then make sure that you lubricate the chain.


On the other hand, if the casing of the bearing is too loose then you will have to replace it together with a new chain or sprocket.


There is no way you can fix a worn-out chain or sprocket than replace it.

Also, you can fix this problem by adjusting the chain length or distance between axles, or installing a tensioner.


That is the effective solution for such a problem in chain drives.


3. Solution for the chain that climbs the sprocket.

The cause of a chain climbing a sprocket is based on misalignment, the chain is loose, the chain is worn out, poor fitting of the chain or sprocket and material is built up on the sprocket.


The solution for this is to find the main problem in your chain drive and start fixing it.


If the problem of the chain climbing the sprocket is caused by misalignment make sure that the chain is in alignment with the sprocket.


If the problem is caused by the chain being loose make sure the chain is at the correct length. When the chain is too long then you will have to reduce the chain to be the required length.


It won’t be loose anymore if the chain is in the correct length. Also, check the length between the two sprockets. It might be that the chain is too loose because of the sprocket being too close.


If this is the case, then increase the distance between the sprocket and that should help fix the problem.


The moment you find the problem is caused by the chain or the sprocket being worn out replace them with a new one immediately.


As I said earlier, this problem of chain climbing the sprocket can also be caused by the poor fitting of the chain or the sprocket.


This can be fixed by ensuring there is a proper fitting of the chain and the sprocket.


If there is material build-up on the sprocket then clean up the sprocket and this problem will be solved in your chain drive.


4. Solution for chain clinging to the sprocket.

When a chain clings to the sprocket it can be because of using the wrong chain, worn out sprocket, heavy chain, lack of lubrication or material build-up on the chain or sprocket


If you realize that the problem is caused by using the wrong chain then you will have to change it immediately.


Also, when you are using the wrong it can be that it weighs differently from the required chain. If you use the right chain then this might be solved.


When the problem persists then check your sprocket or the chain if it’s clean. It can be that the chain clings to the sprocket because it’s full of dirt.


Clean the chain and the sprocket and observe if there will be changes.


If the sprocket is worn out then you will have to replace it and that should hopefully fix your issue.


5. Solution for a chain that gets stiff in chain drive.

The problem of the chain getting stiff in the chain drive is usually caused by a lack of lubrication, corrosion, misalignment, and excessive overloads.


The rest of the problems like the misalignment, and lack of lubrication I have talked about them in the above solutions.


If your chain is stiff because of corrosion then you will have to check the extent of the corrosion. The moment you realize that it’s much affected by corrosion to an extent that you can’t fix it then you will have to replace the chain.

The other thing you can also do about corrosion is to Install a partition to protect the chain and select a chain suitable for certain specifications (for example, MT type).


But if the corrosion is not that much then you have to make sure that you lubricate your chain effectively for it not to be stiff and prevent corrosion too.


If the chain is overloaded then you will have to reduce the load.


Final Thoughts…

If a chain has problems then it will interfere with the overall functioning of the machine.


These problems will be there in the chain if there is no maintenance or periodic checks.


If you want to avoid these problems make sure before you start using the chain in your machine, make sure it is the required chain, the correct length, and it’s not worn out.


On the side of the sprocket make sure that they are in the correct length, they are clean, they are not worn out and the alignment is okay.


You will be good to go when these measures are in place.


Ask any questions you have in the comment section.


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