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A problem-solving chain to last the season

On Kentucky Avenue in 1890 Indianapolis, the Diamond Chain Company established its first headquarters and manufacturing facility for advanced feats of industrial engineering.

Among these were the Wright Brothers’ debut flying machine and the launch of Henry Ford’s first automobile drive assemblies.

With such a rich history of innovation, it was not long before Diamond® garnered a strong reputation across global power transmission markets. The company’s roller chains are utilised with great success across industrial automation, oil and gas, aerospace, defence, construction and – particularly on Australian shores – for agriculture.

In 2019, Diamond® Chain was acquired by leading industrial manufacturer Timken, contributing to a growing and dynamic offering across various segment-specific needs. Troy Markland, National Product Manager for Power Transmission at Motion Australia, says that many farmers now look for the ‘diamond difference’ in their supply partner’s catalogue, citing Timken’s commitment to quality as a reliable investment for the service of valuable assets.

“This chain is a widely trusted product in crop-related practice, and it’s used on a broad range of equipment including balers, headers, and sprayers. It is mostly sought by end-users as a robust replacement solution. Designed to go in at the beginning of a harvest cycle, it will last the entire season with no issues.”

Much like its namesake, Diamond® Roller Chain is built to perform at peak capacity under the extreme pressure of harvesting operations. Immediately evident are its uniquely bevelled link plates, proprietary lubrication formula and ‘hot dip’ process.

“Historically, Timken has been a bearing manufacturer, but over the last several years they have been expanding their power transmission portfolio with chain, belts and coupling products,” Markland explains.

“Diamond® already has an established OEM market overseas, and they have been working hard behind the scenes to cater even more to Australia’s unique farming industry.”

“Building on the ingenuity that led to the invention of the tapered roller bearing, Timken decided to branch out and provide a full spectrum solution, including everything needed for a driveshaft assembly,” adds Sean Young, regional general manager at Australian Timken.

“The chain’s role is to transmit torque between two shafts, and we manufacture it with different specifications to meet each industry’s requirements.”

Diamond® sees ‘commitment to quality’ as more than just a catchphrase – it’s a practiced belief reflected in the quality of their signature componentry. With a roller chain design comes greater flexibility, but also an increased risk, as each linking part is a potential point of failure. 

To combat this, only the highest-grade raw materials are used in the chain’s construction to meet exacting standards on metal grade, mechanical properties, and carbon and alloy content. This helps to mitigate impurities that could have a negative effect on the chain’s tensile and fatigue resistance, explains Young.

“Different types of material will accommodate for common aggregators such as high speed, increased torque or rust,” he continues.

“Because the product has been around for such a long time, Diamond® has had the opportunity to refine its design to suit both OEMs and farmers, doing their own maintenance work between harvest cycles.”

Additionally, a shot peening treatment is applied to the parts, which contributes a layer of compressive stress that reduces resistance fatigue caused by ongoing high loads. This renders the Diamond® product ideal for the rugged setting of Australian farms.

“Along with the shot peening, each length of roller chain undergoes a heat treatment to increase its strength, durability and wear resistance over long periods of time,” Young said.

He furthers that the product’s smart design relies on oriented link plates, which maximises the bearing area of the pitch hole. What’s more, all chains are pre-loaded, or ‘pre-stressed’ to firmly seat the pins and bushings. This ensures a reduction of initial run-in, significantly extending its wear life.

“Over the years, my close relationship with the team at Timken has cultivated excellent outcomes for our customers,” reflects Troy. “I’m on the phone to them almost every day, and our collaborative site visits ensure that each project gleans the benefit of both extensive industry knowledge and premium product.”

Sean echoes this sentiment, pointing out the ways that Diamond®, and its parent company Timken, build on over 130 years of technical expertise for agriculture and beyond.

 “Our experienced field engineers work alongside the Motion Australia team to give the end-user confidence in their equipment and know that it’s going to last. Rather than just selling a box off the shelf, we take a hands-on approach by assessing each application to make sure we’re delivering the correct solution.”   

Reasons why Fred the Farmer loves the Diamond® Difference

• Improved wear life of 30-40 per cent

• Improved fatigue life of 20 per cent

• Corrosion protection and improved lubrication

• Designed to suit the agricultural market

• Excellent quality at a competitive price

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