In order to extend the grease operating life and the general operating life of the bearing, Schaeffler launched two sealing concepts for Generation C bearings which present reduced grease loss and better protection against contamination.
The Z-type dust shield, equipped with an innovative labyrinth seal, helps to reduce grease loss by 20%, and reduces contamination by 30% compared to the previous designs. The optional ELS lip seal can provide a high level of sealing capability at low friction, which makes it particularly suitable for applications of alternating axial loads, such as those found in the wheel bearings of motorcycles.
The shape of the lip represents the core innovation of the Generation C bearings, as it is perfectly matched to the ring recess. Furthermore, the recesses have now been moved to the interior of the bearing, significantly improving its robustness during handling and mounting.
Thanks to the noise-optimised cage, the Generation C bearings work at significantly reduced noise levels and with even lower friction, the latter also allows for lower energy costs during operation. These characteristics can be attributed to numerous improvements to raceway parameters in terms of roundness, waviness, roughness and tighter manufacturing tolerances.
The low noise levels and friction make the bearings ideal for use in electric motors in which low noise and smooth running are critical. Leading motorcycle manufacturers are also benefitting from Generation C bearings. Road conditions and the environment are challenging in emerging markets such as South East Asia and India, which means that the bearings are often exposed to severe contamination and ingress of water. For this reason, motorcycle manufacturers require a wheel bearing with properties that are optimised for harsh operating conditions like Generation C wheel bearings.