Sealed-for-life leaf chain pulleyA major factor in servicing materials handling equipment is access to the mast. Most service managers acknowledge that accessibility theory and practice are very different; especially when engineers need to access the top of the mast - which can be some considerable height from the floor.

FB Chain make chain rollers and fit them with a number of different types of bearing solutions, however, they all need lubricating. A new bearing material is now available and can be a good solution to the ‘infrequent or no maintenance’ leaf chain roller issue. This has resulted in the development of a ‘Sealed-for-life’ chain roller.

FB ‘Sealed-for-life’ leaf chain rollers, which remove the need for greasing, will not only increase service intervals but also minimize machine downtime. The new design also removes the need for costly cross drilled pivot pins with grease nipples that are necessary when using conventional chain pulleys.

The FB ‘Sealed-for-life’ pulley takes advantage of a new type of self-lubricating sintered bush. Traditionally bronze bushes have only been used in light duty applications but with the new material design, they can now take more than 3 times the load. For example a standard wrapped bush will withstand a load of circa 150 N/mm² whereas the new material will withstand in excess of 500 N/mm². The intricate bearing design together with the addition of shaft sealing units also keeps the lubrication inside the chain roller and on the working surface.

These new FB ‘Sealed-for-life’ leaf chain pulleys have been extensively tested by one of FB’s major OEM customers and have survived over 60,000 arduous cycles on their test machine. The machine was lifting up to a maximum load (4 Tons) through the full range of it's movements, angles and heights. Following successful testing, this materials handling OEM is now using the new FB Chain pulleys on all their new machine designs. They are also currently involved in ‘reverse engineering’ these new chain pulleys into all their existing designs. This will result in a cost effective solution to achieving significant improvements in maintenance and operating performance compared with their standard leaf chain pulleys fitted with roller bearings.