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NSK’s RHP range of Self-Lube housed bearing units provide integrated benefits in general manufacturing industry, food processing, materials handling and agricultural applications.

According to the company, the units can help OEM manufacturers and end users to improve their competitiveness in industrial markets through cutting build and maintenance times, by reducing bearing complexity and mounting costs.

By providing units that are ready assembled to bolt into place, NSK enables designers to easily and economically solve specific bearing problems relating to component complexity, mounting and also bearing maintenance and life in difficult environments.

A simple comparison supports the case for ‘bolt-on’ convenience.

NSK point out that the typical mounting arrangement for a standard ball bearing includes a number of separate components, making it expensive and time consuming to install.

In contrast, one of NSK’s RHP range of Self-Lube units employs the same basic bearing, but integrates all other elements needed to assemble the bearing, together with facilities for sealing and relubricating.

In practice therefore, the housed bearing has reduced the number of expensive components, simplified assembly and cut stock-holding costs.

Self-Lube bearings conform to ISO standards and are available in different materials and configurations.

Cast-iron pillow block and flange types are used for normal and medium-duty applications, while zinc-plated press-steel units are available for lighter-duty operations.

In addition, as many Self-Lube units are called upon to operate in harsh environments, NSK has introduced the Silver-Lube range of corrosion-resistant bearings and housings.

These are suitable for use in applications where frequent washdowns are necessary, optimum hygiene standards are required and good chemical resistance is important.

Together with the RHP Life-Lube range, Silver-Lube bearings can also benefit from the sealed-for-life lubrication provided by NSK’s Molded Oil technology.

Suitable for operation in wet or inaccessible applications, Molded Oil is a solid lubricant.

This means that operating environments are kept free of grease, which is very important in food applications.

In addition, there is no need for refilling of lubricant, as Molded Oil provides a continuous supply of lubricating oil.

Essentially Self-Lube housed bearing units consist of an insert, normally a 6200 series deep-groove ball bearing with cast iron (pillow block, flange or take-up unit) or pressed steel housings.

The bearing insert can carry a combination of radial and axial loads in the same way as a standard ball bearing.

It has an extended inner ring with integral shaft locking device and a spherical outer ring that matches the spherical bore in the housing to overcome initial housing misalignments up to 0.030 radians.

A number of insert types are available for use in light and heavy applications and high and low temperature operating conditions.

Heavy-duty types are used in equipment such as pumps and fans.

Designed with a wide inner ring, they facilitate a wide range of locking methods.

The simplest of these, set screw locking, is suitable for most applications excepting those where vibration is a problem.

Where vibration does occur, an eccentric locking collar mechanism is supplied.

Alternatively, in applications where positive concentric lock is required, or when heavy vibration or shock loads are present, a taper lock system is preferred.

With all these locking arrangements, standard shafting can be used – there is no need for a precision interference fit.

In applications where Self-Lube bearings are required to operate in high or low temperature conditions, HLT inserts come into their own.

These inserts provide opportunities to reduce maintenance, downtime and replacement costs at temperatures as high as +180C and as low as -40C.

Suitable for high-temperature applications, HLT inserts are designed with C5 radial internal clearance and high-temperature grease and seals to give maximum lifespan – even at +180C.

As Self-Lube bearings are widely used in operating environments that are dirty and wet, such as materials handling, agriculture and textiles, they are provided with a choice of sealing systems.

The standard S-type seal consists of a robust steel pressing with a nitrile sealing lip that is designed to retain grease within the bearing and keep contaminants out.

For more hostile environments a Flinger seal has been developed.

This gives increased levels of protection to the standard single lip seal to extend bearing life in arduous conditions without any loss in speed capability.

Finally, offering the highest levels of protection of all is the triple lip seal.

A highly efficient seal having three nitrile sealing lips, this component is recommended where a high degree of contamination is present.

The Self-Lube range can also be supplied with protection of another kind, this time for factory personnel against the dangers posed by rotating shafts.

A protector end cover is available for easy fitment to most standard Self-Lube housed bearing units.

Manufactured in mild steel, the patented protector is difficult to dislodge, yet can be removed without damage and used again repeatedly.


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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