MRO Magazine

Research firm retracts roller chain report

Montreal, QC -- Jan. 8, 2002 -- The Industrial Research Team (IRT) of Montreal has issued a retraction of its Augus...


January 8, 2002
By MRO Magazine

Montreal, QC — Jan. 8, 2002 — The Industrial Research Team (IRT) of Montreal has issued a retraction of its August 1999 report on industrial roller chain, and has apologized to both U.S. Tsubaki Inc. and Renold plc, and all of their affiliates worldwide, for its misleading content.

According to Daniel Schwartz, IRT president, the research firm “recognizes that its report could be misinterpreted in several material respects.” First and foremost, he says, the IRT report contains misleading information about the proper design and implementation of tests for evaluating roller chain.

The report evaluated six brand names of No. 50 steel roller chain — Allied, Diamond, Morse, Renold, Rexnord and Tsubaki. IRT’s lab stretched the chains statically, then ran them on an endurance tester. The report ranked the chains by the amount each stretched after 600 hours on the endurance machine. Chains ran unoiled except for what had been applied initially at the factory.

At the time the report was issued, Schwartz told Machinery & Equipment MRO magazine (Dec. 1999, p. 10) that testing for stretch was a problem, as there was no standard for doing it. As a result, IRT developed its own chain-testing machine.


This machine test drove a 7.3-ft length of chain around a loop of several hardened sprockets in tight turns at moderate to high speeds. Measurements were taken every eight hours.

IRT now says it conducted its roller chain tests in ways not consistent with how such chains are normally tested in the industry and how roller chain is actually loaded, stressed and used in normal operating conditions.

As a result, says IRT, the report contains statements about the characteristics, qualities, benefits, performance and relative ranking of various brands of roller chain that are inconsistent with industry standard testing and incorrectly disparages U.S. Tsubaki and Renold brands of roller chain.

In particular, tests done using the industry-standard four-square machine could lead to other rankings. “Given the acceptance of industry standard testing procedures within the industry and the flaws in design, conduct and analysis of the tests which form the basis of the report, we now believe that a complete retraction of the entire report would be prudent,” says Schwartz.

“No one making any purchasing decisions regarding roller chain should do so, in whole or in part, based on statements contained or results set forth in the report,” Schwartz concludes.

Recent attempts to contact IRT have been unsuccessful and the organization’s website is no longer active.

By Bill Roebuck, Editor