Roller bearing enhances rail efficiency

Written by: Laura Hopperton | Published:

SKF has launched a new tapered roller bearing unit for passenger railway applications, which it says boosts bearing service life by up to 40% compared to existing solutions.

The unit is also designed to help reduce fatigue failures, helping OEMs and end users to increase safety and maximise profit.

According to SKF, the new bearing enables OEMs to offer extended bearing service intervals to match those of wheelsets; this means that rail operators can align maintenance intervals to avoid service interruptions and keep as many trains as possible in operation

"In addition, SKF lab tests indicate a 30% friction moment decrease, while patented heat treatment SKF Xbite improves overall robustness and performance of the bearing," noted Milan Soukup, SKF Railway business development manager.

Operational features of the new unit include higher resistance to hoop stress due to residual compressive stresses in the surface, higher wear resistance and slower crack propagation.

The optimised contact geometry of the bearing unit decreases friction and maintains carrying capacity, reducing operating temperature for a longer grease life and extending the maintenance interval.

Also, SKF has shown in testing that the specially enhanced central spacer included in the design contributes to less fretting corrosion and thus longer grease life.

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