Development of next-generation long-life bearing(NK bearing)

JTEKT Corporation has developed a next generation long-life bearing (NK bearing) for the use in harsh conditions mainly on agricultural and construction machinery. Through the optimization of material components and heat treatment conditions, we have succeeded in achieving further long life with improved robustness.
As such, JTEKT contributes to customers’ vehicle reliability improvement and maintenance manhour reduction, as well as the promotion of autonomous driving of agricultural and construction machinery and other machinery/vehicles.

* NK is the abbreviation for “new advanced knowledge”.

Application example: Tapered roller bearingApplication example: Tapered roller bearing

1.Background of development

Bearings used under harsh conditions such as on agricultural and construction machinery are required to have high robustness, and as such, JTEKT has been continuously developing and launching long-life bearings (such as KE bearing and SH bearing) on the market that satisfy the demand of high robustness. However, since the development of vehicles that require autonomous driving such as unmanned dump trucks and tractors is recently making progress in the agricultural and construction machinery industries, a bearing failure during the autonomous driving could be a severe problem. Furthermore, the demand for life cycle cost reduction and overhaul period extension are also increasing, so the expectations toward longer life and higher robustness are growing.
In response, JTEKT has developed a further long life bearing through the materials and heat treatment that have new concepts in order to achieve long life and high robustness. We will contribute to the customers’ vehicle reliability improvement, maintenance manhour reduction, and size reduction through this development.

2.Features of the developed product

Bearing damages are broadly divided into subsurface-initiated flaking and peeling. For agricultural and construction machinery bearings, improvement of durability against subsurface-initiated flaking as well as peeling initiated from brinelling under contaminated oil is an effective method.

(1)Structural toughening through the optimization of material components and heat treatment conditions
(2)High hardness of race surface resulting from precipitation of fine precipitates
(3)Fatigue strength increasing through securing the appropriate volume fraction of retained austenite (retained γ)

Flaking types and countermeasureFlaking types and countermeasure

Development concept of long life materialDevelopment concept of long life material

Life test result of NK bearing in contaminated oilLife test result of NK bearing in contaminated oil

3.Sales plan

[Start of volume production] 2019
[Sales target] 200 million yen (in 2020)
[Sales destination] Construction machinery manufacturers, agricultural machinery/equipment manufactures, iron and steel manufactures, etc.

4. Production plant

Kokubu Plant and others

JTEKT Corporation has newly created a tagline “Key of your operation Koyo” for the bearing brand “Koyo”. JTEKT will continue contributing to every industry, aiming to deliver bearings that respond to various environments as an indispensable partner to solve customers' problems through working with customers and to provide benefits.