WORKHORSE® Chain Offers Reliability for Bucket Elevators

Tsubaki Workhorse Series Chain

In cement, mining, fertilizer and industrial aggregate applications, chain bucket elevators are used to transport bulk materials vertically. Demanding environments like these often challenge system reliability and require unique, innovative chain solutions. Balancing adequate strength with features that effectively defend against corrosion and abrasion can often be a challenge but is certainly feasible and should be proactively sought to enhance the reliable and predictable nature of an elevator’s operation.

For hassle-free, efficient operation, make sure your bucket elevator chain is designed with these qualities in mind:

1. Fatigue Strength

Bucket elevators are fatigue machines that subject a chain to continuous loading and unloading cycles. High-impact, heavy-duty applications of this nature call for materials of superior strength and outstanding toughness, assembled utilizing high interference press fits. Alloy and/or premium grade carbon steels are typically utilized for the chain as they offer the highest level of stability and durability.

2. Wear Resistance

Bulk industrial aggregates like finish cement and limestone are highly abrasive. Over time, the infiltration of aggressive small particles within a chain’s bearing area can cause the chain to wear and elongate, which eventually will impact the overall efficiency and reliability of the system, driving up maintenance costs and increasing the chance of an unplanned outage. Strategically deployed heat treatment methods, surface coatings and/or seals can help protect chain bushings and pins from destructive debris.

Tsubaki Workhorse Engineering Class Chain

3. Corrosion Resistance

Often times elevators must transport caustic materials such as coal, synthetic gypsum or fly ash. In cases where aggressive corrosion is likely or present, heat treatable martensitic stainless steels are typically utilized for the chain pins and/or bushings. In addition, seals and/or surface treatments such as zinc galvanization may be strategically utilized.

Tsubaki WORKHORSE Chain

Tsubaki’s WORKHORSE chain was engineered to be the industrial “workhorse” of the elevator chain segment. It was specifically designed to resist the abrasive and demanding forces of aggregate elevators. Manufactured with premium, high strength and heat-treated steels, Tsubaki’s WORKHORSE Series carries premier strength ratings and demonstrates superior wear resistance, even in harsh environments. The 5000 Series was developed to resist abrasion in single and dual strand centrifugal systems, while the 4000 Series is applicable to dual strand continuous discharge systems. The Pony Series is utilized mainly in mid-size elevator applications.

Tsubaki Workhorse Elevator Chains

High interference press fits deliver substantial fatigue resistance and market leading stability. Premium upgrades include stainless and/or plated pins and bushings, as well as various types of joint seals to help protect against abrasive and corrosive contaminants. Tsubaki’s patented SJ3™- Sealed Joint Technology and its proprietary Titan®XL – Wear Resistant Surface Treatment are common upgrades for the WORKHORSE Series chains. Both technologies have thoroughly proven to extend chain life in the most demanding applications.
Tsubaki also offers a diverse portfolio of cast, fabricated and polymeric buckets, including standard and customized designs to fit virtually any OEM system. To ensure simple and fast installation, Tsubaki can deliver pre-assembled buckets and chain. This also helps ensure that all assembly components properly fit together before arriving onsite.  Matching WORKHORSE sprockets and BS-F Series Backstops are also available to accompany WORKHORSE chain assemblies.

Workhorse on Smart Tooth Sprockets


To learn more about Tsubaki’s WORKHORSE chain, download the brochure. If you would like to have one of our field service engineers review your application in detail, please reach out to schedule a complimentary site visit.

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