Bicycle chain

In the operating room

Chains are indispensable in many applications, such as bicycle chains, but also chainsaws. Traditionally these are made of steel, but the world is crying out for lighter chains.



In this project, Total Support Group (TSG Group) and Euro-Techniek-Eindhoven (ETE), a design and engineering bureau and a specialist in injection molding and punching, and the necessary tools, will work together with the medical specialists of the UMC Utrecht to to develop the chain roller. The chain roller is a chemically processed lightweight roller that replaces the heavier steel rollers that limit wear on a chain and sprockets, such as used in, for example, a bicycle chain or chainsaw. This achieves a breakthrough: 20% less weight, and lower frictional resistance. These properties ensure that the chain can achieve higher speeds with less force due to less resistance and therefore more efficient energy transfer.

Smaller scale, bigger impact

The technology will be validated in the application of a bicycle chain and a medical bone cement saw. Although these applications appear to be different subjects, they are close to each other in terms of technology. In the case of the bicycle chain, the performance improvement will lead to the possibility of higher speeds due to less resistance and more efficient energy transfer.

The bone cement saw should be as small as possible, but until now it was not possible to achieve the required miniaturization using steel. This is possible with the technology of the chain roller. This chainsaw can be used in hip revisions, where the chainsaw is used to split the cement sheath, allowing the cement to be easily loosened from the bone and removed from the thigh.

Within this project, the collaborating parties aim to further develop the technology for both a bicycle chain and a medical bone cement saw, to test it and to validate its operation.

Impact on the region

This project brings both chemical and mechanical metalworking individually to a higher level, realizes a combination of these two techniques, which in turn contributes to the major themes of our time, namely energy efficiency and reduction of healthcare costs. Our region, the south of the Netherlands, is, of course, excellently suited to carry out this project based on history and knowledge. The project thus not only strengthens the spearheads of the region, but also contributes to social challenges and the sporty and healthy image of the South of the Netherlands.