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A wire manufacturer has utilised roll-neck bearings manufactured from WTF steel from NSK to help it solve bearing contamination problems on its cold rolling mill, reducing downtime and doubling throughput from around half a million tonnes to a million tonnes.

The company was struggling with expensive, unplanned shutdowns due to the premature failure of a four-row tapered roll-neck bearing assembled into the bottom chock of the cold rolling mill.

The harsh operating conditions found within this application were causing the issue, with contamination from water and solids the key problem.

Following a review as part of its asset improvement programme, NSK recommended roll-neck bearings manufactured in WTF steel.

Key benefits of product application

  • WTF steel is said to be particularly suitable for use in the harsh conditions of solid and liquid (water) contamination.
  • It can handle the conditions found in steel mills, including water-infiltrated lubrication and the ingress of foreign particles, which can cause flaking of the rolling contact surfaces of the bearings.
  • It has a super-clean structure that benefits from tightly controlled levels of surface-retained austenite, ensuring bearing fatigue life is improved under debris-contaminated lubrication.
  • The bearing substitution has resulted in longer life and reduced maintenance and technical support.


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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