Multiple strand chains manufactured using slip-fit center plates are most common and are well suited for drives of moderate severity. These chains are designed for ease of disassembly throughout the entire length of chain. The chains can be shortened or sections can be added quickly with minimal effort. However, with the slip-fit center plate design, the user may experience accelerated fatigue failures in exchange for the ease of alteration in the field.
Multiple strand chains manufactured using press-fit center plates were originally developed by Diamond Chain for service in applications that require the utmost in multiple strand chain capacity. Multiple strand chains with press-fit center plates have significantly greater fatigue strength than their slip-fit center plate counterparts, because press-fit construction assures rigid, permanent support for the pins at each tension point with no relative movement, which can cause wear or fatigue. While the press-fit construction does provide the increased fatigue resistance that is often essential in critical applications, the user does give up some convenience because the chain’s length cannot readily be altered in the field. For this reason, press-fit riveted multiple strand chain should always be ordered in the exact pitch length required, including a Bushed Center Plate Link (BCL) connecting link.