SKF Unveils New Line of Bearings With 300 Percent Rating Life

It’s common knowledge: for the sake growth, industries drive innovation. And no industry pushes the limits of technology the way the oil and gas industry does. Constantly pushing for deeper wells, harsher environments, and more sophisticated and efficient driller practices, the oil and gas industry has been calling for more power and more robust solutions. And at the top of their list, are top drives and everything that support them, especially bearings.

SKF, the Swedish bearing and seal manufacturing company, is one of many companies who’ve decided to meet the challenge. Earlier in September, SKF revealed a new generation of tapered roller thrust bearings, the first of their Explorer family of high-performance bearing products. The new bearings boast higher load ratings and a bearing rating life extended by up to 300 percent. These new bearings should hopefully meet the demands of the new larger, more powerful top drives.

According to SKF Bearing Industries, the new Explorer line is the result of a rigorous design, simulation, testing, and manufacturing program. Everything is done to optimize the bearings. The length and diameter of the rollers are optimized to maximize effective carry capacity and improve resistance to shock loads and peak forces. There are smoother transitions at the raceways to minimize the risk of edge stresses. The surface finish is improved in order to reduce friction and effectively maintain lubrication. Carburization also further minimizes cracks and damage from shock loads. On top of creating a new line of bearings, SKF is using these techniques to optimize existing designs. By taking control and tightening standards for every aspect of the manufacturing process, SKF is creating higher quality bearings to meet even the strictest demands.


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