How to Extend Sprocket Life & Increase Uptime

How to Extend Sprocket Life & Increase Uptime


When it comes to industrial applications, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach to selecting the right sprocket, as each application has its own unique set of requirements, materials used, and shaft and assembly considerations to take into account.

However, there are some common concerns to keep in mind when selecting the right industrial sprocket for your application, including wear resistance, heat treatment, ease of installation, and safety. Read on to learn about extending sprocket lifespan, as well as Martin Sprocket & Gear products that can provide a solution for each of these issues.

What Is a Sprocket?

Sprockets, also known as sprocket wheels, are mechanical wheels with small notches known as teeth. These wheels are designed to engage with a belt or chain, using their teeth to seamlessly rotate. In order for a sprocket to be compatible with its designated belt or chain, it must be of a certain pitch and thickness.

People oftentimes mistake sprockets for gears, but these two parts are completely different. Sprockets are not designed to mesh together like gears are, which is what sets them apart. They are typically manufactured with metal or heavy plastics and can be made to certain size specifications, including the width and depth of the teeth.

There are many different types of industrial sprockets, which can be used across a number of applications and industries. Some sprocket varieties include:

  • Drive Sprocket
  • Chain Sprocket
  • Industrial Sprocket
  • Shear Pin Sprocket
  • Duplex Sprocket
  • Triple Sprocket
  • Shaft Sprocket
  • Simplex Sprocket

3 Ways to Extend Sprocket Life

Just like any other industrial part, sprockets will undergo a certain amount of wear and tear over time. Because sprockets are so versatile and can serve a variety of industries—agriculture, conveyor belting, and power transmission, to name a few—it’s important to get the most out of each one before replacement.

This leads many to question how to extend sprocket lifespan and still increase uptime.

1. Reduce Wear Resistance to Increase Productivity

With the daily wear and tear that sprockets undergo, it’s important to make sure that you’re using the best, longest-lasting products that can stay perfectly aligned, while handling the required torque for your application.

Chain Saver Rims and Shear Pin Sprockets

To increase productivity and reduce wear resistance for your application, Martin Sprocket & Gear can utilize special design features. Chain Saver rims are a feature that can help extend chain life by ensuring proper positioning of the chain pitch line with the sprocket tooth. Martin Shear Pin sprocket designs prevent catastrophic damage to driven components due to high torque overload.

2. Extend Sprocket Life with Flame and Induction Hardening

For particularly abrasive applications or applications that require extended life cycles, an incorrectly manufactured sprocket can start to exhibit rapid wear patterns or rapid failure. One of the key ways to prevent this and increase sprocket life is to heat treat your products to increase their hardness at the wear areas through flame and induction hardening methods.
Flame and Induction Hardening for Sprockets

Martin Sprocket & Gear offers both flame and induction hardening on steel products. This hardening draws carbon to the pitch line and locks it in place to increase wear resistance and yield a longer life. Martin utilizes these precise hardening techniques to ensure that the proper hardening depth for the wear areas is uniform and will provide the necessary wear resistance.

3. Promote Safety with Thoughtfully-Designed, Easy-to-Install Sprockets

In addition to increasing productivity and reducing wear resistance, the most important part of selecting the right sprocket for your application comes down to safety during installation. Creating a culture of safety throughout your operation is the best way to protect your people, avoid injuries and unwanted downtime, and provide the ultimate peace of mind.

Segmental and Split Sprockets

To help with fast and safe installation, Martin Sprocket & Gear offers both split and segmental sprocket designs, which makes it easy to replace a sprocket without moving other equipment and components. These large, heavy sprockets can be assembled on-site and are much more efficient to replace than solid sprockets. Plus, Martin Sprocket & Gear specifically engineers their products with safe design in mind, including the use of proper materials, coatings, and attachments to meet the unique needs of each application.

More: Need a Custom-Made Gear?

Optimize Sprocket Life & Maximize Uptime with Martin Sprocket & Gear

With the industry’s largest inventory position and decades of engineering experience, Martin Sprocket & Gear can design industrial sprockets for applications spanning across all industries. Martin has the largest stock sprocket inventory in North America.

Quick alteration services and manufacturing capabilities at all locations mean Martin is able to provide the industry’s quickest lead times for made-to-order sprockets.Martin Sprocket & Gear Product

Find Martin Sprocket & Gear’s Products on ShopIBT

IBT Industrial Solutions’ e-commerce site, ShopIBT, has all the products you need, right at your fingertips! With an easier, faster check-out experience, you can purchase sprockets from Martin Sprocket & Gear directly.

If you’re looking for a more customized solution, reach out to our dedicated Bearing & Power Transmission Experts to see the limitless industrial sprocket options available for your application’s unique needs.


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