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Bearings - 28/05/2023

NSK thin-section bearings are ideal for use in micro-mobility applications

With the micro-mobility market set to soar in the years through to 2030, NSK is in prime position to help OEMs take advantage of this significant demand. The company’s bearings have all the strength, heat treatment and compact dimensional attributes needed to succeed in any project involving products such as e-bikes, e-scooters or cargo bikes.

According to a report released in August 2022 by market research specialist The Brainy Insights, the global micro-mobility market is set to reach $202.41 billion (€190.3 billion) by 2030, representing an impressive growth rate (CAGR) of 17.45% during the 2022-2030 forecast period. Notably, the recovery of global tourism in the post-pandemic world is driving demand for micro-mobility and economical touring options. Transport modes of this type are also central to the plans of emerging ‘smart’ cities. Such is the anticipated growth that a number of major automotive suppliers are currently looking at diversifying into the micro-mobility sector.

Of course, when demand for a solution is high, OEMs must identify robust technology partners able to demonstrate high quality, reliable products set against the backdrop of proven supply chain performance. Bearing suppliers are no exception.

With e-mobility applications comes a particular set of bearing requirements. Take e-bikes, for example. These machines are compact yet relatively heavy loaded as they must withstand high forces exerted by the rider, drivetrain and road. In direct correlation, bearings must also be compact yet demonstrate considerable strength. A further demand is the need to minimise friction torque so that the e-bike is easy to handle.

The requirement for compact dimensions is nowhere more notable than e-bike drive units, which need to be as narrow as possible despite having to house both an electric motor and a gearbox. To help facilitate this design demand, OEMs can turn to the proven thin-section bearings of NSK, which are able to withstand both high loads and torque. NSK can offer a broad range of standard thin-section bearings, as well as bespoke offerings, to fir customer-specific requirements.

Thin-section bearings from NSK feature robust seals to prevent the ingress of moisture and contaminants thrown up by harsh road conditions, thus maximising service life. Furthermore, their smooth running, low-friction characteristics help to enhance rider comfort and minimise noise.

The inherent strength of NSK thin-section bearings derives from a number of engineered features, including special materials and heat treatment, helping to prevent deformation under load. These bearings are also beneficial in applications such as electric mountain bikes, where due to the potentially demanding terrain, the bearing must facilitate effective torque transfer to the drive without friction loss.

In summary, NSK thin-section bearings contribute to product downsizing and lighter weight in all micro-mobility applications. Furthermore, with lower frictional torque and less torque variation, the bearings improve torque transmission and provide smooth rotation, while also supporting high speeds.


Picture: NSK thin-section bearings are ideal for use in micro-mobility applications

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