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Bearing developments

05 May 2015

Precision bearing manufacturer Schaeffler UK has extended its X-life range of high performance rolling bearings, plain bearings and linear guidance systems with a toroidal rolling bearing with angular adjustment capability, as well as radial insert ball bearings and housing units.

Since launching the first X-life bearings in 2003, Schaeffler has continued to develop and expand the range, which now includes almost all bearing types. The X-life range now includes axial and radial spherical rolling bearings, tapered rolling bearings, angular contact ball bearings, cylindrical rolling bearings, radial insert ball bearings and housing units, machined needle roller bearings and axial angular contact ball bearings for wind turbines.

On the linear side, linear recirculating ball and roller bearing guideway assemblies, as well as hydrostatic compact guidance systems are now being produced in X-life quality. In the plain bearing range, X-life large spherical plain bearings are now available.

New X-life toroidal rolling bearings

At the Hanover Fair in April, Schaeffler launched the latest in its X-life range, the FAG TORB toroidal rolling bearing with angular adjustment capability. This single row rolling bearing has long, slightly spherical rollers, which enables it to combine the angular adjustment capabilities of a spherical roller bearing with the axial displacement capabilities of a cylindrical or needle roller bearing.

The caged bearing provides very high radial load carrying capacity

FAG TORB toroidal roller bearings are available in two versions: as full complement bearings or as a caged version. When the design envelope is restricted, the caged bearing provides very high radial load carrying capacity, even when skewing or axial displacements need to be compensated for. The full complement bearing offers a particularly high load carrying capacity.

X-life radial insert ball bearings

Radial insert ball bearings and housing units are also available in X-life versions. For harsh applications such as food processing, packaging machines and agricultural machinery, these bearings benefit from a 15% increase in bearing life, an expanded application temperature range of -40°C to +180°C and a high level of anti-corrosion protection via the use of the Corrotect N coating. An improved locking collar design also means higher clamping forces, resulting in improved seating on the shaft. Reliable seals keep the high quality bearing grease inside the bearing, preventing the ingress of contaminants and moisture. This increases the durability of the bearing and extends the operating life of the machine.

Energy efficient bearings

The desire for increased energy efficiency is still a key development priority for many users. Manufacturers have targets for reducing energy consumption in their production processes. There is a growing focus on efficiency classes for electric motors ("IE") and other energy efficiency labelling. Low friction bearings can help to optimise energy usage or the efficiency of drive systems.

X-life quality rolling bearings, plain bearings and linear guidance systems are matching trends in drive technology. Under the same operating conditions, the operating life of X-life bearings is significantly longer. Alternatively, higher loads can be applied while maintaining the same rating life values.

By using new production technologies for rolling bearings, Schaeffler is able to optimise the contact faces between rolling elements and raceways. As a result of increased raceway accuracy and more uniform surfaces, there is also a significant reduction in the stress conditions present on the rolling elements and raceway under the same load conditions. This produces a higher dynamic load rating, a longer nominal rating life, less friction and lower bearing temperatures, as well as a reduction in the strain placed on the lubricant. As a result of reduced friction, there is a simultaneous increase in the energy efficiency of the bearings, while energy consumption and operating costs are also reduced.


The development of new steels with fewer non-metallic inclusions, for example, is helping to optimise bearings for specific operating conditions. Rolling bearing performance can be further optimised by using powerful calculation and design tools such as Schaeffler’s Bearinx software.

Key Points

  • The FAG TORB toroidal rolling bearing combines the angular adjustment capabilities of a spherical roller bearing with the axial displacement capabilities of a cylindrical or needle roller bearing
  • Low friction bearings can help to optimise energy usage or the efficiency of drive systems
  • By using new production technologies for rolling bearings, Schaeffler is able to optimise the contact faces between rolling elements and raceways

 


 
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