U.S. Tsubaki
Automotive, LLC
Conveyor
Operations
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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions  |  Automotive Questions  |  Engineering Chain Questions  |  PT Component Questions  |  Roller Chain Questions |  
Sprocket Questions

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Q. Where are U.S. Tsubaki's distribution centers?

Distribution centers are located in Wheeling, IL (Chicago); Atlanta, GA; Hatfield, PA (Philadelphia); Dallas, TX; and Los Angeles, CA.

Q. How can I buy from U.S. Tsubaki?

U.S. Tsubaki normally sells through distributors. For a distributor in your area, view our Distributor Locator.

Q. Can I buy directly from U.S. Tsubaki?

U.S. Tsubaki products are available to purchase through typical distribution channels. Direct purchases are available to specially qualified Original Equipment Manufacturers. To see if your company is able to qualify for direct purchase of U.S. Tsubaki products, please contact us at 800.323.7790.

Q. What are your normal business hours?

Customer Service is available to assist you Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM CST.

Q. Do you offer 24-hour service?

Yes.  For those customers who are approved to buy directly from U.S. Tsubaki, 24-hour service is available for an additional charge.  The number is 224.343.1557.

 Q. What forms of e-business can UST accommodate?

U.S. Tsubaki can support EDI, direct connections, and also considers special requirements

Q. Is U.S. Tsubaki ISO 9001 registered?

U. S. Tsubaki is an ISO 9001 (PDF - 206 KB) and ISO 14001 registered company.

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AUTOMOTIVE QUESTIONS

Q. What type of products do we supply?

We supply complete chain drive systems for many engine and transmission applications including cam drives, balancer drives and oil pump drives. The systems typically include chains, tensioners, guides, and sprockets

Q. Is our product produced in the United States?

Yes, we have the capability of producing our entire product line in the U.S. including timing chains and tensioners, which are manufactured at our automotive headquarters located in Chicopee, MA.

Q. Who are some of your customers?

We supply the major automotive OEMs in North America including General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. We are a system supplier and understand the unique requirements of each customer. We provide complete services including initial design support utilizing CAD, component and engine testing, and analysis.

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ENGINEERING CHAIN QUESTIONS

Q. What distinguishes Engineering Chain from Roller Chain?

Roller Chain Product
Mostly manufactured to ISO 606 / ANSI B29 Standards Usually lighter duty drive applications and some lighter duty conveyor applications. Pitch range is usually ¼" to 3" Single & Multi-strand chains are common

Engineering Class Chain Product
Mostly designed according to the application requirements. There are some chains that follow ISO 606 / ANSI B29 guidelines Usually heavier duty conveyor applications. Some heavier duty drive applications Pitch range is usually 1.654" to 24" or greater Usually single strand chains

Q. What is the expected life of a chain?

Chain wear life is usually 1.5% elongation (often measured over 6 to 12 pitches) in drive applications and 2% elongation in conveyor applications. Chains can operate up to 3% elongation, but there may be sprocket damage, unexpected loading, or increased vibration and noise.

Q. What lubricant should be used on installed chain?

This depends on the application. In general, use clean, high-quality non-detergent petroleum-based oil. Apply the highest viscosity oil that will properly penetrate the pin-bushing joint.

NOTE: Some conditions - extreme hot or cold, food applications - have special requirements. If you have any questions, call 1.800.323.7794 to discuss your application.
Click here to see The Complete Guide to Chain for guidelines on viscosity under specific speed and temperature ranges.

Q. What grades of stainless steel does U.S. Tsubaki offer for chain?

U.S. Tsubaki offers several types of stainless steel chains to meet the requirements of specific applications.

304SS is basic stainless steel; all parts are made from 304 stainless steel. This is an excellent choice for food applications because it stands up to high and low temperatures and contact with acids and alkalis.

600AS is constructed with 304 stainless steel link plates and 600 series round parts. The 600 series stainless is precipitation-hardened, resulting in a maximum allowable load (MAL) approximately 50% greater than other stainless steel chains. It should not be used in extreme temperatures - above 930oF or below -40oF.

316NS is used in the most corrosive environments and for extreme temperatures of up to 1500oF. It is nonmagnetic.

LS Chain® is a 304SS base chain with engineering plastic sleeves between the pins and bushings. LS Chain® is the right choice for corrosion-resistant lube-free applications because it provides the same maximum allowable load as stainless steel in moderate temperatures and offers up to 10 times longer wear life in non-lubricated applications.

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PT COMPONENT QUESTIONS

Q. Do you offer other power transmission component products?

For more complicated or demanding drive systems, U.S. Tsubaki also has available gear motors, overload protection devices, couplings, and other high performance shaft connecting products for locking, control, speed variation, and intermittent drive requirements. All these products can provide enhanced operation in critical power transmission systems.

Q. What is the advantage of using overload protection devices?

As automated manufacturing equipment becomes more integrated, an intermittent shock or jam in one part of the production layout can quickly escalate into total systems shutdown. U.S. Tsubaki's complete line of overload protection devices prevents costly breakdowns due to overload conditions by stopping operations before damage occurs. If power, torque, or load exceeds a preset level anywhere in the materials flow, these accurate, adjustable devices shut down the line ¾ quickly, safely, and securely. They reengage automatically or with a touch of a button once the problem is fixed.

Q. What is a Power-Lock® and what can it do for my power transmission application?

The Power-Lock is an easy-to-install shaft-connecting device that slides into position and offers a keyless shaft-hub lock that will simultaneously handle both high torque and thrust while increasing shaft strength. It is easy to assemble and is ideal for locking in large or small sprockets, gears, pulleys, timing cams, and rollers. Because the Power-Lock fits tightly around the shaft/hub and is not affected by heavy load reversals, backlash damage is eliminated.

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ROLLER CHAIN QUESTIONS

Q. What types of chains does U.S. Tsubaki offer for clean environment applications?

We offer many different styles of chain for use in clean environments and the selection depends on several factors, including the level of cleanliness required, space constraints, and budget.

Q. What types of corrosion resistant chains does U.S. Tsubaki offer?

U.S. Tsubaki offers a diverse selection of corrosion resistant chains to meet the most demanding applications. When practical, a carbon steel chain, which can be readily hardened, offers superior wear and fatigue resistance when compared to stainless steel chain. For this reason, U.S. Tsubaki has developed several coated carbon steel chains - the best of which is the industry leading Neptune chain. In the most corrosive environments, stainless steel is the best choice.

a) Nickel-Plated chain, normally considered a cosmetic covering, offers corrosion protection for mildly corrosive environments.
b) Neptune chain is considered to be the best coating for carbon steel chain to resist corrosion. All of the components of Neptune chain are coated before assembly using a special proprietary double coating process, which ensures that no area is left untreated.
c) 600 AS Series Stainless Steel is manufactured from a combination of round parts made from hardened 600 series stainless and 304 stainless steel side plates. AS Series has the highest load capacity of all of the stainless steel chains manufactured by U.S. Tsubaki.
d) 304 SS and 316 NS Series Stainless Steel chains are made completely from 304 and 316 stainless respectively. Both materials are exceptionally corrosion resistant and offer the same working loads. The 316 stainless has somewhat more resistance to the effects of magnetic permeability, temperature extremes, and harsh chemicals.
e) Poly-Steel chain combines a roller link made from special polymers, combined with a pin link made from stainless steel. Excellent corrosion resistance is one of the benefits, especially when the anti chemical series, Y and SY are specified. The polymer roller links avoid metal-to-metal contact, while making an ideal bearing surface that minimizes wear.
f) Titanium chain is considered the most corrosion resistant chain. It also has benefits when overall weight must be minimized.

Q. How can I maximize chain life?

The primary factors that limit chain life are corrosion, wear, and fatigue. It is very important to ensure that the proper chain size is selected A slow drive chain can be selected by either the maximum allowable load (MAL) or using the horsepower tables. Please refer to the selection procedure found in the U.S. Tsubaki General Catalog beginning on page A-22.

Once the chain size is selected, the following can be considered:
a. Maximize wear life - chains should be properly lubed to minimize wear. When this is not possible, Lambda chains, with their self-lube bushings and nickel plated pins can significantly increase chain life.
b. Improve fatigue life - For a given chain size, U.S. Tsubaki offers several options to improve fatigue resistance, including:
  • T series - Thru hardened pins and quad-staked riveting
  • Super Series - Wider waists and ball drifted holes in addition to the T series
  • Ultra Super - Optimized chain dimensions and hole condition that includes wide waists, thru-hardened pins, and ball-drifted holes to yield the best possible chain that can use standard sprockets.

c. Corrosion Resistance - Corrosion can accelerate the effects of wear and fatigue. To combat this, ensure that the chain is protected. A film of lubricant on the chain can minimize exposure to the environment. In more corrosive environments, Neptune chain or stainless may be considered.

Q. What lubricant should be used on installed chain?

This depends on the application. In general, use clean, high-quality non-detergent petroleum-based oil. Apply the highest viscosity oil that will properly penetrate the pin-bushing joint.

NOTE:
Some conditions - extreme hot or cold, food applications - have special requirements. If you have any questions, call 1.800.323.7794 to discuss your application.

See The Complete Guide to Chain for guidelines on viscosity under specific speed and temperature ranges.

Q. How do I know when my chain is worn out?

In general, when a chain wears 1.5% - 2% longer than the original length, it begins to ride up the sprocket teeth. At this point, accelerated wear of the sprocket and chain may begin to occur. Please refer to The Complete Guide to Chain for the proper method for measuring chain elongation. To minimize wear, please refer to our lubrication page or consider a self-lubricating chain such as Lambda or Exceeder.

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SPROCKET QUESTIONS

Q. What types of materials are your sprockets available in?

In general, our sprockets are made of medium carbon steel and are induction or flame hardened upon request. In addition, we can supply sprockets in 304 or 316 stainless steel, carbon steel with black oxide coating, with ULTRA WP® corrosion protection, or in engineering plastic.

Q. How can I detect sprocket misalignment?

Wear on the sides of sprocket teeth generally indicates improper installation of sprockets and/or shafts. If shafts are out of parallel alignment or not in the same plane, non-symmetrical wear will appear on sprockets. After proper alignment is made, retighten setscrews in sprocket hubs.

Q. Can U.S. Tsubaki modify sprockets to suit my needs?

From a simple change in bore size or keyway to a fully customized sprocket, U.S. Tsubaki will work with you to manufacture the right sprocket for your application. We can make to order nearly any configuration in pitch sizes 25-240

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