GL certifies Schaeffler test method for calculating rating life of rolling bearings

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A rating life test stand at Schaeffler's research and development centre in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
A rating life test stand at Schaeffler's research and development centre in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

The newly developed method describes the full range of calculation and test procedures that are required in order to determine every reference parameter that influences the rating life. This means that complex individual approvals for new products are no longer required.

For Schaeffler customers, the new certification means a significant level of added value: less time required, lower costs, and proven reliability in high volume bearing production.

During the certification process, GL was convinced that Schaeffler could permanently ensure the rating life factors that are determined during its global product development process. It was also proven that the tested material and process quality are valid, not just for the test parts, but for the entire series – worldwide.

Rolling bearing rating life

In addition to the static load safety factor and design envelope, the calculated rating life is a key parameter in the design of rolling bearings. In most applications, the bearings are sized according to their rating life requirements. There are many applications, including wind turbines, where certification is only awarded if the calculated bearing rating life is above a minimum value stipulated by the relevant industry standards.

The demand for energy savings means that downsizing is now sought-after in many applications. It is therefore important, even when smaller bearings are required, that the rating life requirements are fulfilled with a reliable method of predicting their rating life.