I appreciate the concern Knives. It looks though as if the chain should be able to hold up well enough:
Metal Chains wrote:
Roller chain: The basic type of power chain used throughout industry. Rated at up to about 500 hp for single-strand chain. Multistrand types are available at significantly higher horsepowers. For example, ratings for four-strand chain exceed 2,000 hp. Precision construction provides efficient, low-loss, quiet operation. Rated values are predicated upon adequate lubrication covered by ANSI B29.1. In the smaller sizes (below -in. pitch; actually "bushing" chains) speeds can exceed 9,000 fpm. Self-lubricating types, or stud-bushing chain, have oil-impregnated sleeve bearings. They are almost capable of running at the same loads as true roller chain, but at the lower end of the speed range. They provide a service life intermediate between nonlubricated and well-lubricated roller chain.
The average machine that I'm testing is going to be under 7 HP, and under 10k RPM. At 10K RPM the chain is moving at 6545 RPM. At 13000 RPM the chain is moving at 8508.5 FPM - both of which are under the 9000 FPM stated above. While I feel it might be risky to use the rolling type tensioner with this setup, I don't feel that the chain itself is going to be a problem. Rest assured that these tests will be conducted in a manner that will only affect myself, or my property. I will most likely be ordering an adjustable chain tensioner, and fixing up a plate much like what SLOWRIDER suggested.
I suppose that in this situation there is a certain amount of assumed risk no matter what. The roller is quite heavy. It spins up over 800 RPM often. A pebble stuck in the treads of a tire, a blown tire, a broken transmission part, or any other odd number of dangerous factors are completely possible. I'm going to continue with the chain for now - because it's what I have to work with. In the future if I can source different parts that will work better and safer, and fit my budget, I will.
I will certainly proceed as cautiously as I can, worry not.