WHAT’S an Idler Sprocket?

An idler sprocket is a gadget used to keep up the strain in a chain or chain travel system. Often comprising nothing more than a sprocket mounted on a spring tensioned arm, the idler sprocket pulls against the chain in a constant manner to keep the chain limited all the time. The size of the sprocket found in an idler sprocket assembly does not have any influence on the functionality of the chain drive; however; a larger sprocket will most likely last longer because of the slower quickness of the sprocket, which saves put on on the sprocket’s bearings. Maintenance for the idler assembly is commonly only an intermittent greasing of the sprocket’s bearings.

When traveling a machine simply by chain, the tension of the chain must be held at a continuous to avoid the chain coming off of the travel sprockets. By installing an idler sprocket in the drive system, the chain is normally kept taut while not being over-tightened. Operating a chain in an over-limited condition can lead to premature bearing and chain failure while an idler sprocket positioned in the system is usually a method to greatly expand the life of the chain, sprockets and the bearings on the machine’s sprocket shafts.

The ideal installing the idler sprocket is on the contrary side of the chain between the get sprocket and the driven sprocket. The application should place the idler sprocket ready which has the sprocket pressing or pulling the chain towards itself as it loops the two major sprockets in a form similar to the letter B. This style will allow the pulleys to pull the chain hard without hindering the idler in any way as the drive chain passes over the sprocket. If a condition presents itself which needs the travel to exert extra pressure on the drive chain, the idler will flex against the chain, and can expand while staying in contact with the travel sprockets.

While the vast majority of idler sprockets are manufactured of steel, many materials are used to manufacture an idler sprocket. Many poly or composite sprockets have already been used with great success and some wooden sprockets have also been used on some machinery without concern. Many machines, in an attempt to reduce the put on on the drive chain, use an lightweight aluminum, cast iron or steel sprocket coated in a nylon material. The metallic hub enables the idler sprocket to stay very strong as the nylon covering is certainly soft on the chain links.