Designed to improve the reliability of large gearboxes used in wind power generators and other industrial machines, NSK has introduced a long-life, large-size roller bearing. The principal innovation of the new bearing is a combination of special heat treatment technology and proprietary NSK material that delivers superior flaking resistance, including that of white structure flaking. The result is seven times longer service life than that provided by a standard steel (SUJ2) bearing.
The gearboxes found in wind power generators and mining, steelmaking and construction equipment, require roller bearings that are able to support heavy loads. In addition, such bearings must demonstrate excellent reliability in order to cope with the increasing size of wind power generators being produced, and the harsh operating conditions of industrial machinery.
It was these factors that prompted NSK to create a robust, large bearing capable of class-leading reliability. This task demanded the development of a special heat treatment process that was able to delay the occurrence and propagation of cracks.
As a result of these innovations, NSK’s roller bearings for large gearboxes demonstrates seven times longer white structure flaking life than a conventional standard steel bearing. Furthermore, surface originated flaking life is three times as long, while substrate originated flaking life and fracture toughness are both double. As an additional benefit, the rate of dimensional change offered by NSK’s roller bearing for large gearboxes is 50 times less than that of conventional alternatives.
In conclusion, today’s large gearbox designers should consider the use of NSK’s long-life large roller bearing for improved reliability in harsh environments. NSK is anticipating global annual sales for this product of around €8 million by 2017.