Engine timing drives and components are one of the most critical systems. Automotive timing belts are subject to excessive wear and elongation, whereas timing gears contribute excess mass and inertia to the system. Therefore, automotive timing chains are preferred and widely used in high performance engines. An automotive timing chain runs inside the engine and needs to be lubricated by engine oil. Lack of oil changes and low quality oil usage can cause fast wear off of automotive timing chains. Engineers may use gears, chains or belts to drive the camshaft and maintain valve timings.
Improving engine efficiency and fuel economy are eminent trends of the automotive industry, which include downsizing engines, enhancing speed and direct fuel injection and boosting. The performance of automotive engines greatly depends on components, such as timing belts and chains. Furthermore, CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards have become relatively stringent and levy heavy fines on automakers that do not reach the standard mpg (miles per gallon) norms. The aforementioned factors force automakers to develop better automobiles with superior fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Usage of better alloys with high tensile strength in automotive timing chains is prjected to support growth of the automotive timing chain market in upcoming years.
The growing need for smooth-running engines, coupled with the increase in demand for vehicles is anticipated to drive demand for the automotive timing chain market. Moreover, stringent emission norms in countries, such as U.S., Germany, Japan, etc. is further expected to cause an upsurge in the demand for automotive timing chains during the forecast period.
It is globally acknowledged that automotive timing chains last throughout the engine’s lifetime, require less space under hood and are more durable, especially in high powered engines. Today, over 80% of the vehicles (light commercial vehicles) produced in South America use belt technology in their engine. Many automakers in South America are gradually recognizing these benefits and moving from automotive belts to chains. Automotive timing chains decrease friction by up to 25 percent, which results in improved fuel economy and durability, and reduced noise. Moreover, automakers are trying to develop automotive timing chains that reduce cost, lower weight and offer high durability in severe weather conditions.
One of the challenges associated with automotive timing chains is that they rely on engine oil pressure, and if, for any reason the pressure of oil is low, the chain tensioners can lose pressure and offset the engine timing. This could result in poor engine performance and the chain may malfunction, causing extensive damage. Further, automotive timing chains require engine oil changes on a regular basis for smooth running of the chain. Therefore, the high maintenance cost related with automotive timing chains may pose a challenge for this industry.
Automotive Timing Chain Market Segmentation By Basis Of Type – Roller Chain, Silent Chain; By Vehicle Type – PC (Passenger Car), LCV (Light Commercial Vehicle), HCV (Heavy Commercial Vehicle); By Fuel Type – Gasoline, Diesel
Examples of some of the market participants in the global automotive timing chain market, identified across the value chain include: BorgWarner Automotive Inc., SKF, Aisin Automotive Casting, LLC, Tsubakimoto Europe B.V., Egon von Ruville GmbH, Schaeffler AG, Cloyes Gear & Products Inc., Maroblox (Pty) Ltd, Joh. Winklhofer Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, Engine Parts (UK) Ltd.