Tokyo, Japan, April 19, 2007 - NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Seiichi Asaka) is pleased to announce that two employees of NSK were presented with Prizes for Science and Technology (Development Category) in the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for 2007. This is the second time NSK employees have been presented with Prizes for Science and Technology, with four NSK employees having received the same awards in 2005 for the development of a bearing material for machine tool main shafts.
- Area of research for which the prizes were awarded
- Development of a technology to prolong the service life of roller bearings for automotive accessories
- Kenichi Iso
- Reason the prizes were awarded
Roller bearings for alternators and electromagnetic clutches (hereinafter referred to as “bearings”) are essential for automotive electrical components, and early flaking (hereinafter referred to as “white structure flaking”*1) on these bearings gave rise to the issue of establishing a technology to prolong the service life of bearings. NSK clarified that white structure flaking is a fatigue phenomenon caused by the presence of hydrogen, and that this phenomenon occurs due to two factors: tribochemical reactions (chemical reactions at high temperatures under high pressure) and static electricity. In addition, NSK developed a technology to prolong the service life of bearings by making use of a nanotechnology that would eliminate these two factors.
Nano-carbon particles*2 in bearing grease form a chain structure*3 and become conductive. This neutralizes static electricity and eliminates the impact of hydrogen, enabling longer bearing life. This technology overcomes the white structure flaking problem.
Commercially available as HAB grease, this grease is used in automobiles by electrical component manufacturers. HAB grease provides enhanced reliability for automobiles and contributes to a reduction in the environmental burden through LCA (Life Cycle Assessment).
*1 White structure flaking: flaking that is associated with the white etching area (WEA) and occurs as early as about 1/10 to 1/20 of the way through the estimated service life.
*2 1 nanometer: 1 millionth of a millimeter
*3 Chain structure: particles are arranged in chains