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Company - 2022-07-06

NSK RCT sealed-clean rotating-end-cap tapered roller bearings

At the InnoTrans 2022 international exhibition for transport technology (20-23 September, Berlin), NSK will showcase a full suite of bearing solutions for locomotive axlebox, traction motor and gearbox applications. The company is accelerating its active engagement with European rail OEMs, particularly in the high-speed passenger segment, and will use InnoTrans to highlight its product innovation, performance and quality from Booth 260 in Hall 20.

Among several products in the spotlight will be NSK’s axlebox bearing solutions. The company has already enjoyed good success on high-speed passenger rail transport systems in France and the UK, demonstrating reliability, long service life and safety with its RCT sealed-clean rotating-end-cap tapered roller bearings.

NSK’s RCT bearings are highly integrated with surrounding components and incorporate advanced sealing solutions to ensure durability and optimal performance. Notably, these innovative bearings demonstrate the ability to accommodate complex load conditions, including high shock loads, static and dynamic radial loads, and axial loads.

Elsewhere on the 40m² booth, NSK will present its solutions for traction motors. The key to reliable AC traction motor bearing operation is in the insulation. If high-voltage is conducted  through the bearing it can cause electrolytic corrosion on the bearing raceway and rolling element contacting surfaces that will result in premature bearing failure.

NSK offers a number of alternative designs for insulated bearings to overcome this challenge, including cylindrical roller bearings and deep groove ball bearings featuring outer rings that are plasma-sprayed with an optimised alumina-based ceramic coating. This insulating barrier layer, which exhibits high mechanical strength and can handle high loads, increases reliability by preventing any opportunity for electrolytic corrosion. NSK’s ceramic-coating process is proven daily on Japan’s Shinkansen latest-generation high-speed passenger trains. 

The most recent innovation for traction motors is NSK’s hybrid deep groove ball bearings, which use ceramic balls as the rolling elements for applications where high-grade electrical insulation is necessary and/or high speeds are required. Withstanding the same load capacity as standard steel bearings, NSK’s hybrid deep groove ball bearings reduce friction levels and generate less centrifugal force whicht both contribute to  extending service life.

A further solution available from NSK in this area is PPS-insulated bearings. Glass-fibre reinforced polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) resin serves as an insulating coating on the external diameter and side-face surfaces of the bearing outer ring to guard against electrolytic corrosion. While the physical properties of PPS are slightly reduced when compared to ceramic, the resin material is more economical, it is ideal for new generations of conventional passenger trains equipped with AC traction motors. 

NSK will also present its gearbox bearing solutions at InnoTrans. In fact, the company will display a mock-up model of a locomotive gearbox featuring a selection of innovative bearings. NSK’s solutions for this application, which are suitable for a wide range of gearbox designs, feature high seizure resistance, high shock and vibration resistance, low heat generation, and a low-wear design that reduces grease contamination which can contribute to  extending lubrication life. NSK has been supplying tapered roller bearings for helical gears in Japan’s high-speed passenger trains for many years.

As well as bearings, the NSK booth will provide InnoTrans visitors with the opportunity to see a highly responsive and highly efficient NSK ball screw actuator as a solution for active vibration control on railway vehicles. Another area of the booth will be dedicated to B&K Vibro, who are now part of the NSK group, which will display its state-of-the-art VCM-3 condition monitoring system and AS-064 acceleration sensor which enables data collection, vital for planning  robust maintenance strategies.

The latest-generation passenger trains are operating at ever increasing speecs, which places increasing higher demands on bearing technologies. NSK continues to work with its rail industry partners, in both the OEM and aftermarket sectors, to create products that can improve safety, performance, comfort, weight and cost-efficiency. InnoTrans visitors are invited to engage with NSK’s knowledgable team of experts at the show, who will be pleased to discuss specific projects or applications.

 

Picture 1): NSK RCT sealed-clean rotating-end-cap tapered roller bearings demonstrate reliability, long service life and safety in locomotive axlebox applications

Picture 2): NSK insulated bearings include those with an optimised alumina-based ceramic coating for use in locomotive traction engines

Picture 3):  NSK’s hybrid deep groove ball bearings use ceramic balls as the rolling elements for traction motor applications

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