Metal idler chain sprocket sprockets maintain proper chain pressure, and guideline the chain around obstacles and stop excessive chain use and vibration. You don’t need any special tightener shafts for ball bearing idler sprockets. Composite sprocket idlers need no lubrication and so are corrosion resistant and wear-resistant.

An idler sprocket is a device used to maintain the tension in a chain or chain drive program. Often consisting of only a sprocket installed on a springtime tensioned arm, the idler sprocket pulls against the chain in a constant manner to keep the chain tight all the time. The size of the sprocket found in an idler sprocket assembly has no effect on the efficiency of the chain drive; however; a more substantial sprocket will often last longer because of the slower quickness of the sprocket, which will save wear on the sprocket’s bearings. Maintenance for the idler assembly is commonly no more than an occasional greasing of the sprocket’s bearings.

When driving a machine by chain, the strain of the chain must be held at a constant in order to avoid the chain coming from the drive sprockets. By installing an idler sprocket in the drive system, the chain is held taut while not being over-tightened. Working a chain in an over-tight condition can result in premature bearing and chain failure while an idler sprocket positioned in the program is usually a way to greatly extend the life of the chain, sprockets and the bearings on the machine’s sprocket shafts.

The ideal installation of the idler sprocket is on the opposite side of the chain between the drive sprocket and the driven sprocket. The application form should place the idler sprocket ready which has the sprocket pressing or pulling the chain towards itself as it loops the two principal sprockets in a shape similar to the letter B. This design will allow the pulleys to draw the chain hard without hindering the idler in any way as the drive chain passes over the sprocket. If a condition occurs which requires the drive to exert excess pressure on the drive chain, the idler will flex against the chain, allowing it to expand while remaining in contact with the drive sprockets.

While the vast majority of idler sprockets are produced of steel, many materials are used to manufacture an idler sprocket. Many poly or composite sprockets have already been used in combination with great success and some wooden sprockets are also applied to some machinery without issue. Many machines, so that they can reduce the wear on the drive chain, use an light weight aluminum, cast iron or metal sprocket coated in a nylon material. The metallic hub allows the idler sprocket to remain very strong while the nylon covering is usually soft on the chain links.


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