NSK Ltd. has developed a new tapered roller bearing, NSK LCube II, for use in electric vehicle (EV) transmission systems.

The company says it applies a special process to the surface of each roller, significantly increasing durability and seizure resistance under severely thin lubrication conditions.

To improve fuel economy, there has been a shift to using less lubricant and/or lower-viscosity lubricant in transmission systems, says NSK. As a result, tapered roller bearings in transmissions are being subject to increasingly severe lubrication conditions, increasing the risk of lubricant oil film depletion, which can lead to surface damage and bearing seizure.

The company explains that higher-efficiency transmission systems are key to improving overall fuel economy. Its rollers have pore-like micro indents in the surface of the steel, helping retain an oil film that is ideal for tapered roller bearing applications. In addition, improved lubricant, oil accumulation and retention in the roller surface contribute to lower friction at low speeds compared to conventional products, the company says.

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