How to inspect leaf chains for damage

How to inspect leaf chains for damage

How to inspect leaf chains for damage


Leaf chains are essential components in various industrial applications, providing strength and reliability in transmitting power and motion. However, like any other mechanical part, leaf chains can experience wear and damage over time. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of inspecting leaf chains for potential damage, ensuring their optimal performance and longevity.

1. Understanding Leaf Chains

Leaf chains, also known as forklift chains or lift truck chains, consist of interlocking plates or links, which are connected by pins. These chains are commonly used in material handling equipment, such as forklifts and hoists, to lift heavy loads. Understanding the structure and function of leaf chains is essential before inspecting them for damage.

2. Visual Inspection

Visual inspection is the first step in identifying potential damage to leaf chains. It involves examining the chain’s overall condition, looking for signs of wear, corrosion, or deformation. Here are some key areas to inspect:

  • 1. Plate Wear and Elongation
  • Examine the plates for any signs of wear or elongation, which can affect the chain’s strength and performance. Measure the length of several plates to check for elongation beyond the recommended tolerances.

  • 2. Pin Wear
  • Inspect the pins for wear or deformation. Excessive wear can lead to chain failure, compromising safety and efficiency. Replace any worn or damaged pins.

  • 3. Roller Wear
  • Check the rollers for signs of wear or pitting. Worn or damaged rollers can cause chain slippage and reduce overall performance. Replace any worn or damaged rollers.

  • 4. Corrosion
  • Look for signs of corrosion on the chain’s surface. Corrosion weakens the chain and can lead to premature failure. Consider using corrosion-resistant chains in corrosive environments.

  • 5. Lubrication
  • Assess the chain’s lubrication. Insufficient lubrication can cause increased friction, leading to accelerated wear and potential damage. Ensure proper lubrication according to manufacturer recommendations.

3. Measurement and Tension Check

Accurate measurement and tension check are crucial in determining the health of a leaf chain. Here’s how to perform these inspections:

  • 1. Measurement
  • Measure the overall length of the chain and compare it to the manufacturer’s specifications. Excessive elongation indicates the need for chain replacement.

  • 2. Tension Check
  • Check the tension of the chain by applying a specific force and measuring the elongation. Improper tension can lead to premature wear and failure. Adjust the tension according to manufacturer guidelines.

4. Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)

Non-destructive testing techniques can be employed to detect hidden defects and issues within the leaf chain. These techniques include:

  • 1. Ultrasonic Testing
  • Ultrasonic waves can identify internal defects such as cracks or delamination. This method is useful for assessing the integrity of the chain’s internal structure.

  • 2. Magnetic Particle Inspection
  • Magnetic particle inspection involves introducing magnetic particles to the chain’s surface and using a magnetic field to detect surface cracks or defects.

  • 3. Dye Penetrant Inspection
  • Dye penetrant inspection utilizes a liquid dye to detect surface cracks or defects. The dye penetrates into any surface openings, making them visible under UV light.

5. Maintenance and Prevention

Regular maintenance and preventive measures are essential for prolonging the life of leaf chains and minimizing the risk of damage. Here are some best practices:

  • 1. Lubrication
  • Ensure proper lubrication by using high-quality lubricants. Regularly inspect the lubrication system and replenish as needed.

  • 2. Regular Inspection
  • Schedule routine inspections to detect early signs of wear or damage. This allows for timely repairs or replacements, preventing costly breakdowns.

  • 3. Correct Tension
  • Maintain the correct tension in the chain by following manufacturer guidelines. Incorrect tension can lead to premature wear or failure.


In conclusion, inspecting leaf chains for damage is crucial for ensuring their optimal performance and safety. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can identify potential issues early on and take appropriate measures to maintain and prolong the life of your leaf chains.

About Our Company

Author: Czh

Our company stands as a leader in the chain market in China. We offer a wide range of high-quality products, including leaf chains, drag chains, flexible chains, plastic drag chains, bush chains, plastic chains, tabletop chains, and multiflex chains. With 300 sets of advanced CNC production equipment and automated assembly systems, we ensure precision and excellence in every product we deliver.

At our company, we take pride in offering superior products, competitive prices, and exceptional customer service. We welcome customization requests to meet our customers’ unique needs. Contact us today to experience the quality and reliability of our products.

May 2024