5 Ways to Lubricate Roller Chains

5 Ways to Lubricate Roller Chains


Lubricating the roller chain can prevent the wear of the roller chain caused by the bearing pressure, the angular sliding of the pin and the rotation of the roller. This article will specifically introduce five methods of lubricating the roller chain.

5 Ways to Lubricate Roller Chains
five ways to lubricate a roller chain

Proper lubrication can reduce the wear of the roller chain, thereby prolonging its service life. Different lubrication methods are applicable to different situations, and the actual effects are also different. We can choose the best lubrication method according to the working environment and cost-effectiveness. Here are five ways to lubricate a roller chain.

Manual Lubrication

This type of lubrication is done using an oil can, aerosol spray, and brush, and requires someone to manually add lubricant into the gap between the inner and outer chain link plate of the loose side of the chain. This method should be done at least once a day (or once every 8 running hours).

Removing the chain guard to apply lubrication mid-operation can be dangerous. Therefore, it is only recommended if machinery is shut down at regular intervals for maintenance or for machinery with secondary drives/low chain speeds.

While manual lubrication is the most cost-effective option for roller chain lubrication, but it will reduce productivity, leaves more room for human error, and has a higher potential for injury.

Oil Bath Lubrication

In an oil bath lubrication, the chain is installed in an enclosure and the bottom of the chain is fully immersed in a pool of oil. The immersion should not be too deep or too shallow as it may cause the oil to heat up and lead to untimely oxidation of the oil.

Because the oil is maintained within the casing, a well-sealed drain plug is crucial to avoid leaking. This is the most effective method of lubrication because you can guarantee that the whole chain is being thoroughly lubricated.

Drip Lubrication

Wick oilers, needle oilers, or drip oilers, where oil from the oil cup is supplied by drip-feeding, are only suitable for low-bearing pressure drives. The standard procedure is to apply 5-20 drops of oil per minute for every strand of the chain (quantity depends on the speed).

This method of roller chain lubrication is ideal for machinery with spatial constraints because you can feed the oil to the location you need with a hose from an external source. However, similarly to the oil bath, if the drain plug is not sealed well, the oil can leak out and create a mess.

Oil-Ring Lubrication

In oil-ring lubrication, the roller chain parts operate above the oil level, while a disk is submerged into the lower oil level. The disk centrifuges oil against the casing walls from where it continuously runs down onto the chain via drip rails. The disk should be mounted on both sides of the sprocket and also requires a leak-free enclosure. Additionally, this method of chain lubrication is only effective at speeds in excess of 300 RPM.

While this method doesn’t apply oil as effectively as an oil bath, it is sometimes more practical and economical than using an enclosure.

Force-Feed Lubrication

In force-feed lubrication, an oil pump and oil feeding pipe supplies a continuous spray of oil to the inside of the lower span of the chain to ensure the circulating cooling of the chains. The spray nozzles should be near the gearing places of the chain and sprocket, and the nozzle number should be more than the chain strand number to make them aim at the gap of each row link plate.

If the roller chain is worn out, it is very easy to cause chain failure, so we must pay attention to the lubrication of the roller chain. If you want to learn more about roller chains after reading the above content, you can contact us for a more comprehensive solution.

As a professional quality chain manufacturer, we have accumulated many years of manufacturing experience in this field. We have a strong R&D department and professional quality management team, which can provide you with safe and high-quality products. We can also provide corresponding customized services and effective solutions according to your needs. If you want to buy our roller chain, please contact us immediately!