Schaeffler, the global automotive and industrial supplier understands the major potential impact of innovative bearings, and is now presenting two further product innovations designed specifically for electric vehicles: the TriFinity triple-row wheel bearing and the high-efficiency ball bearing with centrifugal disc.
“Innovative bearing technologies are a core part of our product DNA and underpin the success of our Automotive Technologies division,” said Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive Technologies of Schaeffler AG. “Schaeffler is looking to fit its efficient and high-precision bearing solutions in electrified powertrains and chassis systems, as well as conventional powertrains, to further enhance these systems and make them more sustainable.”
To achieve greater synergies and even shorter development times for its custom solutions, Schaeffler established a new Bearings business division within its Automotive Technologies division at the start of this year. “E-mobility represents a major opportunity for our bearings business,” said Dr. Dieter Eireiner, the head of the new business division. “We are expecting strong growth over the next few years, with major sales potential particularly for ball, cylindrical roller and tapered roller bearings. We are already involved in several promising development projects with big-name vehicle manufacturers. Innovative bearing technologies are also very important for both heavy and light commercial vehicles, because they significantly increase vehicle range. Working with our customers, we intend to take bearings to a whole new level.”
TriFinity: Three bearing rows for maximum modularity
Schaeffler’s TriFinity product is a triple-row wheel bearing designed for use in electrified powertrains. TriFinity is no bigger than standard two-row ball bearings, but can transfer greater axle loads, while also offering a significantly longer service life and improved rigidity. Moreover, this innovative ball bearing design provides an alternative to preloaded tapered roller bearing units. Switching from tapered rollers to balls leads to significant improvements in frictional torque and rigidity, resulting in a 0.7 percent reduction in electricity consumption per vehicle in FTP75 test cycles.
The combination of the TriFinity with Schaeffler’s face spline technology allows downsizing solutions in the form of wheel bearing units with smaller diameters, and hence reduced bearing and seal friction, optimised bearing weight, and a smaller carbon footprint. Clearance-free face spline technology reduces bearing weight while enabling the component to transmit up to 50 percent more drive torque, whilst also being quieter and easier to install.
High-performance ball bearing for enhanced efficiency and maximum service life
Schaeffler’s new high-efficiency ball bearing with centrifugal disc is a high-performance, friction-optimised and sustainable product for electromobility applications. It combines the benefits of both open-bearing and sealed-bearing designs. With 0.3 Nm less friction and CO2 emission reductions of about 0.1/km per bearing, the high-efficiency ball bearing with centrifugal disc is a smart yet simple solution that has a major impact on overall performance. It has ten times the service life of an open bearing and represents a significant reduction in costs.