roller bearing are characterized by their ability to properly accommodate high radial and axial loads while minimizing friction and wear. These Bearing design is used in a wide range of industrial applications as, among other things, cylindrical roller bearings, spherical roller bearings, tapered roller bearings or needle bearings. The article presents the latest Innovations different manufacturers on the market.

Roller bearing SKF

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Roller bearings 2024 – The most important things in brief

Cylindrical roller bearings are the most commonly used bearing types because they offer high radial load capacity and are versatile in industrial applications such as gearboxes and electric motors. The current development status of roller bearings shows that they have to cope with increasingly higher loads and speeds with minimal friction. The roller bearing of the future is characterized by material innovations, intelligent sensors and advanced manufacturing techniques. These developments aim to further improve performance, reliability and sustainability.

New alloys and composites are being developed to handle higher loads and more extreme environmental conditions. Ceramic rollers and raceways are increasingly used to reduce friction, increase corrosion and temperature resistance. Equipped with sensors, roller bearings deliver Real-time data about load, temperature, vibration and lubricant condition, which allows preventive maintenance to be implemented. In the Mechanical Design Roller bearings are modeled as digital twins to simulate their performance under different conditions. And with Artificial intelligence Patterns can be recognized from the collected data and predictions can be made about the service life and maintenance requirements of the bearings.

New coatings and lubricants are being developed to further minimize friction and thus extend service life. 3D Printtechniques enable production complex bearing geometries, which cannot be achieved using traditional methods. This results in lighter and more powerful bearings. And sustainability is also reflected in the new developments such as: B. in recyclable materials.

Roller bearing news and innovations

Below we present the new developments and innovations among roller bearings: 

Rolling bearings for high-speed and freight trains

02.07.2024 | At Innotrans 2024 in Berlin, NSK its latest innovations in rolling bearing technology, specially developed for high-speed and freight trains.

High-speed trains: Extreme speeds

For trains travelling at speeds of up to 320 km/h NSK has developed the RCT (Railway Cartridge Tapered) tapered roller bearings with "Sealed Clean" seals and rotating end caps. These safe and reliable bearings are already used in several European high-speed train projects. Thanks to the innovative sealing solutions, these bearings achieve an extremely long service life and can handle high shock loads, axial loads and static and dynamic radial loads.

Freight trains and subways: High loads

The axle drives of Freight trains and subways require special rolling bearings because they travel more slowly, typically around 100 km/h. However, they must withstand much higher loads. Spherical roller bearings and cylindrical roller bearings are used here, which are known for their robustness and durability.

Traction motors: Sustainable and efficient

Another focus is on rolling bearings for Traction motors of rail vehicles. These motors are subject to high radial and axial loads and often have to operate at high currents and speeds. NSK offers bearings with insulated coatings and high-strength cages that ensure a long service life. Users can choose between a ceramic coating or a PPS coating for the outer ring, both of which offer high insulation resistance. Hybrid bearings with ceramic rolling elements and steel races are particularly suitable for high speeds and effective electrical insulation.

Gearbox bearings: tough operating conditions

The Transmission Bearings of rail vehicles are exposed to strong shocks and vibrations caused by the wheels rolling on the rails. The new tapered roller bearings with specially reinforced cages, which are already being used successfully in Japan, are now also available in Europe. These bearings extend maintenance intervals and thus reduce operating costs.

3 times more durable spherical roller bearings with food safety

08.03.2024 | The new Food line spherical roller bearings from SKF are specifically tailored to the requirements of the Food industry tailored. They offer up to three times longer lifespan and comply with the industry's strict hygiene regulations. These bearings with food-grade lubrication and special seals minimize the risk of contamination and extend maintenance intervals, making machines work more efficiently and safely.

With the Food line storage SKF introduces the first spherical roller bearings developed specifically for the food and beverage industry. These bearings are lubricated with NSF-H1 grease. An FDA and EC approved nitrile butadiene rubber seal protects against water and contaminants and prevents lubricant leakage. The blue colored seal makes it easier to identify fragments if they get into the food.

The robust bearings of the Explore-Series are made of high-strength steel, which increases dynamic load capacity and reduces vibration and heat generation. These features contribute to three times the service life of open bearings and improve operational safety.

In addition, SKF’s “Food line” bearings promote the Sustainability: The low-friction seal reduces energy consumption and lowers CO2-emissions. The encapsulated design requires less lubricants, reducing the need for raw materials and transportation.

Cylindrical roller bearings for heavy industrial gearboxes and construction machinery

16.04.2024 | Schaeffler presents its new ones Cylindrical roller bearings NJ23-ILR series for Construction and heavy industrytransmission before. The rolling bearings are compact and equipped with the high-performance Mpax cage, which gives them a very high dynamic load capacity. The load capacity has been increased by 24% and the service life has been doubled.

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Push boundaries with a new angular needle bearing

April 14.04.2023, XNUMX | The bearing technology in articulated arms of lightweight constructionRobotic usually uses crossed roller bearings. But the design of such bearings has already reached its limits in terms of their tipping stiffness. In order to achieve significant progress in this regard, a new development approach was required. Schaeffler-Engineers have the two-row Angular needle bearing XZU

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Load-bearing, rigid cylindrical roller bearings for machine tools

09.01.2020 | The bidirectional radial axial cylindrical roller bearings from Rodriguez is now also available in an HSA version. It offers improved rigidity, a 20% reduction in starting and running torque and 20% higher speeds. Users also get up to 70% higher moment rigidity and load capacity in every direction. The delivery program includes types of axial radial cylindrical roller bearings with bore diameters from 200 to 580 mm for almost all applications, especially Machine Tools.

These significant improvements to the Rotary table bearings could be achieved through a recalculation of the RTB cylindrical roller bearings by the manufacturer. Better models and the new software allow a more precise calculation. This made the new stiffness values ​​possible. Tests and developments in cooperation with selected customers accompanied the development. The production process has been optimized with regard to heat treatment. Stricter delivery conditions for the procurement of raw materials have a positive effect on the degree of purity and storage quality. The result is improved mechanical properties.

The high-precision Cylindrical roller bearings are particularly suitable for positioning rotary or rotary tables in machining centers. The stiff behavior meets the high requirements for accuracy, load-bearing capacity and rigidity in machining. The RTB bearings are also available with an integrated angle measuring system especially for use in torque-driven rotary tables. The absolute measurement method allows easy installation Rolling are sturdy and. The modular design meets all requirements for resolution and precision.

100 years of spherical roller bearings – the birthday film

July 03.07.2019, 100 | He invented it XNUMX years ago SKF Engineer Arvid Palmgren the spherical roller bearing. This has since developed into a worldwide success in a wide variety of industries. There is no end in sight to this success story even after the 100th birthday.

Burnished bearings increase performance in critical applications

13.02.2019 | NKE Austria introduces burnished bearings with improved running-in and wear behavior. The bluing also protects against environmental influences. Especially in critical applications such as gearboxes Wind turbines This is a cost-effective measure to extend the service life.

Within the Browning it is a protective layer on iron or steel parts. The surface of the treated components is converted into a 1 to 2 µm thin mixed oxide layer using a multi-stage chemical process, which causes the typical black color.

Burnished rolling bearing components have special technical properties, especially if they are one Relative movement have against each other. A multiple protective effect comes into play even with individual burnished elements, mostly rolling elements. However, the best result is achieved when all functional surfaces of a rolling bearing, i.e. the inner and outer rings as well as the rolling elements, are burnished.

In practice, browning is particularly useful Cylindrical roller bearings (full complement or with cage) proven, for example for large or main gearboxes in wind turbines. However, depending on the application, other types of rolling bearings are also blackened.

Rotary table bearings with high speeds for machine tools

Oct 25.10.2017, XNUMX | With a complete overhaul of the INA round table bearings YRTC series achieved Schaeffler even higher speeds and maximum tipping stiffness. With the YRTC in X-life quality, machine tool operators receive more cutting performance with higher precision at the same time.

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Ceramic rolling elements for hybrid roller bearings

May 08.05.2014, XNUMX | Where steel roller bearings were previously used as a matter of course, high-performance ceramics are now also being used. It is thanks to her that the most difficult storage situations can be solved better. ceramic has succeeded in developing the ceramic rolling bearing rollers 'Cyrol' using a new manufacturing technology, which will make it possible to open up a wide range of areas of application for hybrid roller bearings.

While ceramic balls are in the Hybrid and all-ceramic bearings have already been firmly established, ceramic roller bearings are still in their early stages. To date, steel has been the number one material in this area. But conventional steel roller bearings reach their limits when longer maintenance intervals are required and temperatures, chemical reactions and electrical insulation become a problem.

Until now, the high production costs for ceramic cylindrical roller bearings have deterred users from switching to the new material, despite convincing technical arguments. Ceramtec has now succeeded under the brand name Cyrol To develop materials and processes with which silicon nitride bearing rollers can be mass-produced with an outstanding cost-benefit ratio.

Ceramic surpasses steel

The height Wear and temperatureresistance and chemical resistance recommend the ceramic material especially for very maintenance-intensive applications. But the fact that ceramic is very low-friction and non-magnetic, as well as having a low specific weight, as well as good dry running and therefore better emergency running properties, make it the preferred material for demanding areas of application. The combination of specific electrical resistance and low friction makes it possible, for example, to redefine generators and electric drive systems. The increased lubricant life is also a strong argument for grease-lubricated systems for life.

This results in completely new fields of application. Wherever maintenance costs and effort for systems and machines need to be reduced or generators are used Silicon nitride the key to long-term success: in wind turbines or tidal power plants, in the area Printing machines, textile industry, chemical industry, mining, high-speed spindles or even electrical drive trains vehicles. In some cases, silicon nitride rolling elements make certain applications possible in the first place.

From the powder to the final product

The manufacturing process for silicon nitride bearing rollers, which emerged from years of development work, meets the requirements and wishes of the constantly growing high-end market. In order to meet demand, the ceramic specialist set up a new production line to produce ceramic rollers that meet the highest requirements in terms of material and geometry. The decisive factor for the ultimately marketable price-performance ratio is the fact that the production line is designed for medium to high volumes and not for individual parts. The cylindrical rollers are sorted based on customer requirements according to diameter and length and the required quantities so that the finished silicon nitride bearing rollers can be installed immediately.

Ceramtec already manufactures bearing rollers in various shapes from cylindrical to conical. The product range will be expanded to include barrel rollers in the near future. All manufactured molds meet and exceed even the highest demands of the storage industry, which is why it is expected that these products will soon be used in a growing number of applications.

Cylindrical roller bearings with increased load ratings for large gearboxes

29.01.2014/24/XNUMX | Cylindrical roller bearings are often used in large gears because this type of bearing can withstand high mechanical loads. The systems and thus also the rolling bearings often run in XNUMX-hour operation and require high reliability and a long service life. NSK has developed a new series of large cylindrical roller bearings with increased load ratings that achieve a longer service life than corresponding standard bearings.

The development goal was achieved primarily through one increased number of roles. This increases the contact area between the raceways and the rollers, so that the surface pressure between these two components is reduced. Increasing the number of rollers initially results in less installation space remaining for the cage. As a result, the cross section of the cage webs is reduced. To further ensure sufficient cage strength, the cage design has been optimized. Due to the special geometry of the webs, all forces induced in the cage are absorbed evenly.

Compared to the large cylindrical roller bearings previously used, the new series has up to 30% longer lifespan on – even and especially under harsh environmental conditions and high mechanical loads, such as those that can occur in large gear units. The series is available with external diameters of up to 400 mm. The manufacturer sees the main areas of application in the gearboxes of multi-megawatt wind turbines as well as large systems such as those found in the steel industry and process engineering.

Split spherical roller bearings for quick and easy installation

July 12.07.2013, XNUMX | Shared FAG spherical roller bearings from Schaeffler simplify and speed up changing bearings, especially in places that are difficult to access, such as on a multi-supported shaft. By using the split version, many work steps during installation and removal are eliminated.

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High-precision cylindrical roller bearings for work spindles

IBC roller bearing08.07.2013 | IBC High-precision cylindrical roller bearings are used wherever high speeds, minimal friction losses, high radial loads and heat-related changes in length of the surrounding components have to be compensated for. Cylindrical roller bearings with cages are suitable for absorbing very high loads in the radial direction, have a high level of rigidity due to the line contact between the roller and the raceway and are designed for high speeds.

The company manufactures Cylindrical roller bearings in different designs, dimensions and sizes. Their ability to allow axial displacements makes them ideal for floating work spindles in machine tools. They are also used in: Pump and compressorsin. In addition to single and double row cylindrical roller bearings with a cage, the range for general mechanical engineering is supplemented by single and double row full complement cylindrical roller bearings.

While cylindrical roller bearings with Cage While allowing relatively high speeds even under high loads, full complement cylindrical roller bearings are designed for low speeds and pivoting movements. Due to the largest possible number of rolling elements, they are considered to have extremely high radial load-bearing capacity, impress with their high rigidity and are particularly suitable for space-saving designs. They are used in slowly rotating, extremely stressed bearings.

Taper roller bearing X-life combines less friction with higher performance

Schaeffler tapered roller bearings07.04.2011/XNUMX/XNUMX | With the new ones FAG tapered roller bearings The series offers X-life quality Schaeffler Group Industry now has the world's broadest product range of high-performance tapered roller bearings. Compared to commercially available standard products, these rolling bearings achieve a friction torque reduced by up to 75%.

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Frequently asked questions

Which is better ball bearings or roller bearings?

Ob Bearing or roller bearings are more suitable depends on the specific requirements of the application.

  • Bearing are ideal for applications that require high speeds and low loads, as they offer low friction and smooth running thanks to the point contact between the ball and the raceway. Typical areas of application for ball bearings are: electric motors and household appliances.
  • roller bearing On the other hand, they are the better choice when it comes to absorbing high radial and axial loads. Their linear contact surface allows them to handle larger forces, making them ideal for heavy machinery, gearboxes and industrial applications. They also offer a longer service life and greater rigidity.

How does a roller bearing work?

A roller bearing works, by supporting rotating movements through the use of cylindrical, conical or needle-shaped rollers. These rollers are placed between the inner ring and the outer ring and roll on the raceways during operation. The linear contact surface of the rollers distributes the load evenly, which reduces friction and allows the bearing to absorb high radial and axial forces.

When do you use tapered roller bearings?

Tapered roller bearings are used when both high radial as well as axial loads must be absorbed. They are particularly suitable for applications such as vehicle transmissions, axles and industrial machines where resilience occurs in multiple directions. The tapered rollers ensure stable and precise storage, improving the efficiency and lifespan of the systems.

Which roller bearings are there?

Roller bearings include several types, each with specific characteristics and applications. Here are the most common roller bearing types:

  1. Tapered roller bearings have tapered rollers that can accommodate both radial and axial loads. They have a high load capacity and rigid structure. They are used in automobile drives, industrial machines and shafts.
  2. Cross roller bearings have a compact design and cross-arranged cylinder rollers that can accommodate loads in two directions. They are used in precision equipment and rotary tables where high rigidity and load capacity are required.
  3. Roller bearings have special profiles and rollers that are specifically designed for raceways and guideways to accommodate high loads with little space requirements. They are used in conveyor systems, Automation services and construction machinery used.
  4. needle roller bearings have slim, long rollers called needles and are particularly space-saving. They offer a high load capacity with a low overall height. Applications can be found in gearboxes, pumps and compressors.
  5. Spherical roller bearings are self-adjusting and can accommodate high radial and axial loads in both directions. They are robust and have a high load capacity. They are used in gearboxes, wind turbines and conveyor systems.
  6. Barrel roller bearings have barrel-shaped rollers and can accommodate both radial and limited axial loads. They are self-adjusting, making them ideal for misaligned applications. They are used in heavy machinery such as mining equipment and conveyor systems.
  7. Toroidal roller bearings (CARB bearings) allow axial movements and are self-adjusting. This makes them ideal for applications with wave-induced axial displacements. They are used in paper machines and heavy industries.
  8. Four point bearings have four points of contact and can accommodate high axial loads in both directions as well as limited radial loads. They are ideal for rotary tables as well as radial and axial bearings in rotational movements.
  9. Cylindrical roller bearings have cylindrical rollers and can carry high radial loads with low frictional resistance. They are commonly used in transmissions, electricsmotors and machine tools used.

What does DIN 5412-1 say?

The DIN-5412 1 describes the dimensions and abbreviations for single-row, separable cylindrical roller bearings with cage and for angle rings. This standard specifies the limit deviations for enveloping circle diameters and defines the specifications for various designs of cylindrical roller bearings in order to ensure their interchangeability and performance. It is particularly relevant for applications that require high precision and reliability, such as in the railway industry and in mechanical engineering.

Source: This article is based on information from the following companies: Ceramtec, IBC, NKE-Austria, NSK, Rodriguez, Schaeffler, SKF.

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Author information
Angela Struck

Angela Struck is editor-in-chief of the development scout and freelance journalist as well as managing director of Presse Service Büro GbR in Ried.