NSK Ltd. has received the “Fiscal 2019 Tribology Technology Award” from the Japanese Society of Tribologists (JAST1). The award was conferred to NSK for developing technology that is key to enhancing rolling bearing performance, which further contributes to reducing the impact of human society on the global environment.
For over a century, NSK’s products and technologies have contributed significantly to the advancement of machinery and industry, and NSK will continue to develop new world-class technologies to realize a safer, more comfortable, and more environmentally friendly society.
1JAST was established in 1956 for the purpose of improving technologies relating to tribology (the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and of related subjects and practices). JAST website: https://www.tribology.jp/indexe.htm
Research theme: Simultaneous measurement of film thickness and rupture rate in elastohydrodynamic (EHD) contact of grease-lubricated bearing
In recent years, researchers have been striving to reduce bearing torque as a measure to reduce CO2 emissions and prevent global warming. To reduce torque, it is effective to reduce the viscosity of the grease or reduce the amount of grease applied, but these measures result in early onset of various types of surface damage. To further explore the mechanism, we needed a high precision method to measure the thickness of lubricating film.
We developed an improved version of the conventional electric impedance measurement method that can measure EHD contact at an equivalent precision to the commonly used optical interferometry method, while also simultaneously being capable of measuring the rupture rate. This new technology has been utilized to develop an accurate picture of grease lubrication mechanisms at low speed operation, and is highly promising to continue to further to deepen understanding in the field.
Ultimately, these insights are expected to be transformed into technologies supporting new bearings with lower torque without the need to sacrifice product lifespan.