FB Ketten increases lifespan of conveyor chain at IWB biomass plant

The Swiss biomass cogeneration plant IWB was unsatisfied with the lifespan — about three years — of the fork link chains and sprockets for its Saxlund infeed scraper conveyor. High chain elongation and heavy wear on the sprockets worked together to drive chain lifespan down. FB Ketten’s Chain Expert, Daniel Zahnd, worked with IWB plant supervisor Ernst Kundert to double the lifespan of their sprockets and increase chain lifespan while avoiding expensive conversion or adaptation costs.

Doubling sprocket lifespan

According to Zahnd, improving the sprockets involved replacing those in use with reversible sprockets while increasing the quality of the material. The higher quality material reduced wear, and the reversible sprockets — which used symmetric teeth — doubled sprocket lifespan.

The quality of the drop forged link chain could no longer be increased because improvements to the chain material and heat treatment had already been carried out in 2012.

These solutions fell short of the team’s goal. In the end, their only option was to change the chain entirely.


The team turned to the FB-rEVOLUTION scraper chain. The FB-rEVOLUTION matched the wear resistance of fork link chains while incorporating the fatigue strength, stability, and reliability of modern conveyor chains. The FB-rEVOLUTION had the same functinal dimensions as the previously installed Redler chains, so only small adjustments to the plant were necessary.

In the end, switching to the FB-rEVOLUTION resulted in a 47% wear reduction after the first year of operation, based on reduced wear between pins and bushes.

Read more (in German) about FB Ketten’s cooperation with IWB.