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New corrosion resistant roller chain from Tsubaki meets
RoHS environmental guidelines
New N.E.P. roller chain from Tsubaki employs an innovative metal coating process that allows a carbon steel chain to be used in wet conditions without corroding. The multi-layer metal coating process is modified for different components of the chain balancing corrosion protection with wear resistance to outperform alternative solutions many times over. An additional stand-out feature of N.E.P. chain is that its manufacturing process and component materials comply with new RoHS guidelines on restricting the use of hazardous substances such as Chromium, materials that have until now been an essential component of all high-strength corrosion resistant chain.
Most ‘wet’ applications for drive chain involve some exposure to atmospheric moisture and / or intermittent exposure to water based solutions. Completely waterproof chain is not suitable for these applications as it is generally manufactured using a combination of stainless steel or engineered plastics, the drawback of these materials is that they are not as strong as carbon steel chain and have to be oversized for high-load applications - in the case of pure stainless steel chain it doesn’t perform well without immersive lubrication either. A corrosion resistant chain based on carbon steel chain is therefore a far more desirable solution as it can operate with standard power transmission components and sizing calculations.
Various coating methods have been used to protect the surface of carbon steel chain from corrosion when used in an environment where moisture is present, (typically outdoors or in a wet process application). The problem with this in the past has been that some surface coatings are extremely hard, such a chromium and tend to peel-off due to surface pressure exerted by drive sprockets, or galvanisation, which is softer and wears away quickly as the chain articulates, thus leaving critical components open to corrosion.
Tsubaki N.E.P chain however uses a combination of three layers of surface coating, combining a highly resistant base layer that bonds a harder wear-resistant coating onto the chain bushes where they come into contact with sprocket teeth. An additional tough external coating is then used to cover and seal all the other component surfaces with further corrosion protection.
The combination makes for stunning results; in a salt water immersion test Tsubaki N.E.P. chain survived over 300 hours immersion without any sign of corrosion at all, this is compared to a standard carbon steel chain that would corrode to the point of being useless within just 24 hours. Samples that have been tested up 1500 hours have shown only slight surface discolouration in what is one of the most destructive corrosion resistance test environments for ferrous engineering steels. (To put this achievement in context, check how much corrosion your car brake disks show after being left a couple of days with rain water on them).
In the field it is more common for the chain to be exposed to far lower concentrations of potentially corrosive water based solutions, N.E.P. chain is expected to have extremely long service life in this environment, while maintaining all the strength of standard Tsubaki carbon steel chain. An added bonus is that N.E.P. chain is a far less expensive alternative to oversize stainless steel chains in most situations.
N.E.P. chain also has a reduced impact on the environment through lower emissions during manufacture and the selection of less damaging materials in its construction. Previous corrosion resistant chains relied on the use of chromium derivatives such as Hexavalent Chromium and Trivalent Chromium as water resistant coatings, N.E.P. chain however uses none of these materials and actually doesn’t contain any chemically hazardous substances at all. It therefore complies with current RoHS guidelines on reducing the use of hazardous materials.
N.E.P. drive chain is compatible with standard sprocket dimensions and is available from stock in RF06B - RS24B simplex (7 sizes) and RF06B - RS20B-2 duplex (6 sizes). N.E.P. attachment chain in a variety of common configurations will be launched later in the year, followed by a specialist self-lubricating lambda version in the near future.
Contact for reader enquiries: Marketing Department, Tsubaki UK Ltd, Osier Drive, Sherwood Park, Annesley, Nottingham. NG15 ODX. Tel: 01623 -688788
Fax: 01623 -688789       e-mail: sales@tsubaki.co.uk  Web: www.tsubaki.co.uk
For editorial enquiries contact: Roland Renshaw, DMA Europa Ltd, 2nd Floor, Snuff Mill Warehouse, Park Lane, Bewdley, Worcestershire, DY12 2EL Tel: 01299 405454  Fax: 01299 403092 Email: roland@dmaeuropa.com

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