How to clean leaf chain quickly and easily using a chain cleaning brushSubstantial soiling of leaf chains may occur at short intervals under specific conditions of use. If recourse is taken to cleaning leaf chain with steam jet equipment then this should be done exclusively without the use of aggressive or caustic cleaning agents or agents containing chlorine. Pure water or steam is the only agent that will ensure the least damage to forklift truck chain.

It is necessary to understand that after such cleaning forklift chain has not only been thoroughly cleaned but also totally degreased. In this condition, particularly owing to the presence of water in it, the leaf chain will be subject to extremely rapid and dangerous corrosion.  A film of water will remain longest in the leaf chain joint, i.e. between the contact faces of the linkplate bore and the pin surface; resulting in corrosion, stiffness and pitting.

It is generally accepted by all experts that such corrosion is the principal cause of premature forklift truck chain damage and leaf chain failure.

Suggested cleaning method when using jet equipment to clean leaf chain

The following procedure is suggested if such a cleaning method cannot be avoided when maintaining leaf chain and forklift chains:

  1. Cleaning - Clean the leaf chain with steam or hot water, using no additives whatsoever.
  2. Compressed Air - Immediately after cleaning the leaf chain, remove the water from the surface of the chain and most importantly from inside the joints of the chain using high pressure compressed air.  Move the articulating links of the leaf chain several times whilst doing so.
  3. Re-lubricating - Ensure that the leaf chain is in a slack condition and immediately spray with a preservative and lubricant.  Whilst doing so articulate the leaf chain an adequate number of times to ensure that the lubricant will be capable of penetrating completely into the chain joint.
  4. Products to be used - It is suggested that the following characteristics are required for a good standard of lubrication for forklift truck leaf chains:

    ~ Adequate corrosion protection and lubrication ability
    ~ Ability to penetrate through / under water
    ~ Continuously viscous after application
    ~ Good adhesion properties
    ~ Layer thickness and protective film able to withstand later aggression (rain / hail etc.)

    FB Chain can advise on special lubricants and special surface finishes available to overcome any abnormal lubrication problem with forklift truck chains or leaf chains used in arduous, harsh or aggressive environments.