Developing the Power Chain

The high productivity of modern longwall shearers and plows puts immense pressures on face conveyor chains. To ensure that working panels can be completed without having to replace the chain and/or chain sprocket, Bucyrus has developed Power Chain 42 x140 featuring larger contact surfaces to reduce surface pressure and wear. Production involves hot-forming of chain links, combining the use of round-steel and forged elements, or rolled profiles and forged elements. A 42-mm-diameter vertical link is rolled to form a semicircular cross-section, offering greater link surface area. Horizontal links are forged, with a 42- mm link surface area. The leading edge is flat, offering a larger contact surface area for the drive sprocket than round conventional chain. The central area for securing the flight bar has a key that engages a slot on the flight bar. This design almost halves surface pressure at contact points, says Bucyrus. Power Chain is currently available in three sizes: 34 x 110 mm, 42 x 140 mm and 52 x 175 mm. The latter is designed to be used with up to 3x 1,200 kW (3x 1,608 hp). Another Power Chain is under development which will be suitable for up to 3x 1,800 kW (3x 2,412 hp)..

As featured in Womp 09 Vol 05 -