Machine Lubricant Selection, Part 2
Chains and cables have been used in manufacturing, shipping, construction and many other applications since before the Industrial Age. The primary industrial application for chains is likely for use in power transmission between parallel shafts. One might argue that the largest single application for chains is the automotive timing chain. Wire ropes, similarly, have been used extensively since the early days of the Industrial Age, with the forerunners of the wire cable reaching back to the early days of man in the form of braided hemp and fiber ropes.
This article addresses the basic components and construction of the most common types of chains and cables, briefly reviews common failure modes and provides input on the lubricant characteristics that would be most helpful in improving performance for these types of components.