Press Release

NSK Develops a Highly Corrosion- Resistant Bearing Lineup for Dental Handpieces

Highly Corrosion- Resistant Bearing Lineup for Dental Handpieces

Tokyo, Japan, December 17, 2013 – NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Norio Otsuka) today announced that it has developed a highly corrosion-resistant bearing for application in handpieces used in the medical treatment of teeth using anti-corrosive material that is superior to conventional material. This product's high corrosion resistance properties help maintain proper sanitation for dental handpieces even when immersed in highly concentrated alkaline solutions used for cleaning and sterilization.
NSK has prepared a lineup of these highly corrosion-resistant bearings and is targeting 2 billion yen a year in sales for the full dental bearing lineup by 2017.

Development Background

In order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, dental handpieces are repeatedly sterilized in boiling water and disinfectant as well as autoclaved after each use. In recent years, as the awareness among patients and doctors has risen in regard to infectious diseases, a trend to use alkaline solutions to clean and sterilize these handpieces has emerged. While highly concentrated alkaline solutions are effective at sterilizing, they can lead to corrosion in the bearings, and such corrosion can then lead to reduced performance of the dental handpieces.

Although stainless material can be applied to improve the corrosion resistance of bearings, it can result in a reduction in strength. In response to this situation, NSK has developed an improved stainless bearing material that maintains fundamental performance such as strength while also achieving a high level of corrosion resistance to withstand highly concentrated alkaline antiseptics.

Product Features

(1) Greater Corrosion Resistance Than Current Product
NSK's conventional material* already has a fairly high level of corrosion resistance. However, in order to better address usage environments such as that of highly concentrated alkaline solutions, NSK further optimized the composition of the stainless steel used in the inner and outer raceways of its bearings for an even higher level of corrosion resistance.
(* The long-life, high corrosion resistance stainless steel that NSK developed in 1999)
(2) Same Level of Load Capacity as Current Product
This new product has improved corrosion resistance over the current product while maintaining the same load capacity.
(3) Same Level of Durability as Current Product
This product achieves ample durability even at high-speed levels of 400,000 rpm.

Product Benefits

  1. This product is designed for use in highly concentrated alkaline solutions, making it suited to maintaining proper sanitation of dental handpieces.
  2. Since this product is able to suppress corrosion when used in environments where highly concentrated alkaline solutions are used, it can thereby be used for a long time without causing abnormal levels of noise or vibration in dental handpiece applications.
Dental Handpiece Applications
Development Background & Concept
Performance of New Product