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Machine matches chain lengths to within 10µm

05 February, 2013

The chain manufacturer Donghua has installed a chain-length measuring machine in its UK workshop which can measure to up to 5m of chain to within 10µm per metre (about one tenth the width of a human hair).

The machine, one of a handful of its type in the UK, was designed and built by Donghua. It can also pre-load (pre-stretch) chain, eliminating the initial elongation often found in “in-house” attachment chain.

Where precise positioning of more than two chains used in parallel is needed, the chains – from 3/8–2” pitch, in both British and US standards – can be matched closely to a length of 5m. For longer lengths, the chains can be supplied matched and tagged so that they can be fitted in sequence to maintain a high accuracy along the entire length.

“It’s vitally important to length-match to very close tolerances two or more attachment chains that run in parallel, particularly when the chains are fixed together with cross-bars forming a conveyor,” explains Donghua’s managing director, Bob Wellsbury. “It enables the correct tensioning of both chains and ensures the attachment links engage with the sprockets together, eliminating any undue stress which causes fatigue failures of the attachments.

Donghua chain measuring machine

“Customers insist that their standard drive chains are pre-stretched,” he adds. “Therefore it’s not unreasonable to expect that their attachment chains should also be pre-stretched, especially when they are required to perform in extraordinary and arduous applications and are more expensive than normal drive chain.”

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