Often when the chain is exposed to the environment, it can get dirty and rusty. Cleaning the chain periodically both extends the lifetime and can be done for aesthetic purposes. The big challenge is how to clean the chain without it getting into a big ball of knots.
A vibratory tumbler is often a better process than a barrel tumbler as it will do a better job of keeping the chain expanded and not ball upon itself. The selection of media is also important, and the shape and size will depend on the size of the links in the chain. The chain on the left is rusty and dirty and needs to be cleaned. In addition to the
‘exposed’ areas, the internal areas where the links connect also need to be cleaned. The first step was to clean the chain. In this example, the chain was tumbled in a wet process using a Ceramic Cone shaped media. To get to all areas of the chain, it took about 4 hours to clean.
As this chain needed to have a polished finish, a second vibratory tumbling step was used. The Pegco GBW-3.9 Coarse Premium Treated Tumbling Media was used to polish this steel chain. This step took about 12 hours to the result on the right.