Bearings - 07/01/2011
NSK has developed a new NSK Linear Guide™ especially for use in lithium ion battery (LIB) manufacturing facilities. The new NSK Linear Guide™ uses copper- and zinc-free metallic components and a proprietary NSK grease that is free of metallic elements. NSK is scheduled to commence sales of the new NSK Linear Guide™ in January 2011 and is targeting annual sales of 300 million yen by 2013. The newly developed product was displayed at the SEMICON Japan 2010 Exhibition (December 1 through Friday, December 3) at the Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex in Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture.
NSK linear guides are already at work in a vast range of applications including automobile and semiconductor and liquid crystal component manufacturing facilities, conveyance robot systems, machine tools and others.
NSK designed this latest linear guide product specifically for the rapidly expanding LIB market. Lithium ion batteries are expected to replace the nickel metal hydride batteries currently used in rechargeable batteries. The LIB rechargeable battery, however, is plagued by the danger of catching fire during usage if contaminated by metallic dust during the production process. This means very strict controls must be maintained to prevent contamination by metallic dust that includes such electrolyte non-soluble elements as copper and zinc during the production process.
1. Converting copper components and zinc coatings to stainless steel
Conventional linear guides include grease fittings and screws that are either copper components or zinc coated. Changing to stainless steel for these components makes it possible to prevent generation of metallic dust (from copper, zinc) which is not soluble in battery electrolyte solutions during the LIB production process. This contributes to greater safety from the risk of batteries igniting.
2. Adopting clean grease (free of metallic elements)
NSK has employed its LGU grease which features no metallic content, low dust generation, and good lubricating and rust preventing properties, for the new NSK linear guide. These features help to maintain a clean production environment.
3. Maintenance-free for the long term
Incorporation of the NSK K1™ lubrication unit ensures a constant supply of fresh lubricant. This reduces the frequency of lubrication maintenance and facilitates longer maintenance-free periods of operation.
The NSK Linear Guide™ for LIB manufacturing facilities contains no materials considered harmful to the environment.
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