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NSK’s Hi-TF bearing steel has recently been supplied to a European cement plant, which was experiencing regular bearing failures on a high-temperature fan operating at 150C.

Typically, during an 18-month period, the original split bearings used on the fan would fail at least three times.

Examination of the application itself, and of the split bearings, revealed that a combination of high temperature and heavy load was causing the premature failures.

As a solution, NSK recommended the use of Hi-TF spherical roller bearings mounted in plummer blocks fitted with labyrinth seals.

This combination is capable of continuous operation at 200C under heavy load.

Hi-TF is able to provide an improved performance as a result of its microstructure, which is able to relax the stress concentrations on the edges of indentations on the bearing surfaces.

This microstructure – a material with a high volume of retained austenite and a high hardness – produces a longer life, even under conditions where there is an insufficient oil film and surface damage, such as peeling, easily occurs.

Hi-TF bearings also offer increased resistance to wear and seizure, as a result of the dispersion of large number of fine carbides and nitrides in the bearing material.

In comparative tests with bearings made of conventional materials, such as SUJ2 steel, the Hi- TF material structure has shown less than one third the rate of wear and a 20 per cent increase in seizure resistance.

Hi-TF has also proven its benefits on a screw pump for conveying slurry at a cement plant in the US.

In this application, a large angular contact bearing was experiencing dust contamination.

Hygroscopic dust was wearing the raceways and increasing clearance to the point that, to avoid catastrophic failures, the bearings had to be changed prematurely and on a regular basis.

NSK recommended Hi-TF Steel as a solution, asserting that the material would manage the problem by offering resistance to the contamination.

In addition, the bearings would run quieter and smoother and offer shock-load protection.

Since installing the Hi-TF bearings, bearing consumption at the plant has reduced by more than 50 per cent.

As a result of this success, the plant has since converted other locations to Hi-TF bearings.


NSK, a global leader in motion and control products, has developed and continuously upgrades four core technologies: tribology, material engineering, analysis technology and mechatronics, to provide the platform for the company’s innovative product developments. This technology platform provides the basis for the design of NSK’s rolling bearings, automotive components and precision parts. In addition, by integrating these advanced technologies, NSK is able to respond quickly and effectively to customer requirements across all key sectors.

NSK is a driver of new technology developments, with a full line-up of products spanning general industrial, automotive and precision parts industries. These include bearings for mechanical and electrical machinery, IT and aftermarket; innovative automotive products such as electric power steering (EPS) automatic transmission components, steering columns and other steering related products; and precision linear motion components such as linear guides, ballscrews, X-Y tables, mechatronic products and Megatorque motors.

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