A new N.E.P roller chain from Tsubaki employs a metal coating process that allows a carbon steel chain to be used in wet conditions without corroding. By using a combination of three layers of surface coating, the Tsubaki N.E.P. chain provides a highly resistant base layer that bonds a harder coating onto the chain bushes where they come in contact with sprocket teeth. An external coating is then used to cover and seal all the other component surfaces with further corrosion protection. According to the company’s press release, this combination is expected to provide an extremely long service life while maintaining the strength of a standard carbon steel chain.
While several coating methods have been developed to protect carbon steel chains, some are extremely hard and tend to peel off due to surface pressure exerted by drive sprockets or galvanization, leaving critical components open to corrosion. The N.E.P. chain, however, will comply with new RoHs guidelines on restricting the use of hazardous substances such as chromium, material that has until now been an essential component of all high-strength, corrosion resistant chains.
The N.E.P. roller chain is compatible with standard sprocket dimensions. Attachment chains are set to launch later this year, followed by a specialist self-lubricating version in the near future.