January 31, 2015     Japanese 
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NTN Develops Replacement for Tapered Roller Bearings

Tokyo, May 31, 2013 (JCN) - NTN Corporation has developed a replacement for tapered roller bearings with lower fuel consumption by improving static load capacity of ball bearings. The 'Enhanced Anti-indentation Deep Groove Ball Bearing', with a higher static strength across the bearing raceway surface, can be used in automotive differentials and transmissions.

Further lower level of torque and higher efficiency are required of bearings as there is a greater need for fuel efficiency in automobile and reduction of CO2 emissions. Bearings used in drivetrain components such as diffs and transmissions are subjected to large thrust loads.

Accordingly tapered roller bearings are widely used in these applications, however tapered roller bearings suffer from issues such as a relatively high rotational torque and the need to adjust preload during assembly.

In contrast, ball bearings have a low torque and are capable of supporting thrust, however there were no ball bearings available to meet the thrust load capacities required for such applications.

The newly developed 'Enhanced Anti-indentation Deep Groove Ball Bearing' features special surface modification during the heat treatment process, which has reduced the Brinell Indentation depth, an index for static load capacity, to 1/2 compared to that of standard heat treatment.

This allows tapered roller bearings used in diffs and other applications to be replaced with ball bearings, with an approximately 60% reduction in torque expected in diff side bearings.

The number of man-hours required for assembly and preload control process can also be reduced, contributing to improvement in productivity at automotive manufacturers, in addition to fuel efficiency in automobile.

By Kozue Tanaka Staff Writer

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