Innovation at lofty heights: Harder slewing bearings for more efficient wind turbines

Engineering | innovation | trends of technology | Fossil raw materials are becoming scarcer, the demand for energy is growing. Thanks to an innovative patent, our slewing bearings defy the forces of nature and thus support the production of sustainable electricity.

In the past years, the thyssenkrupp business areas have created the basis for a portfolio of more than 22,000 patents and utility models with their inventiveness. The patenting of these innovations is important to protect all the group’s technologies.

How we increase the hardness of our slewing bearings

While fossil fuels are becoming increasingly scarce, the demand for energy is growing worldwide. Limited resources and rising energy prices are global challenges and an inspiration for our experts at thyssenkrupp rothe erde to create innovative solutions. As resilient components, slewing bearings and rings in wind turbines, hydroelectric and tidal power plants and solar energy systems make a significant and sustainable contribution to global resource conservation and climate protection.
To make large-diameter bearings particularly resistant to their use amid the forces of nature and to prepare them for all axial and radial forces acting on them, our experts have developed a special process to increase the hardness of the bearing rings. The patent “Method for the production of a bearing ring for large-size rolling bearings” with the file number PCT/EP2006/001266 describes how a bearing ring is heated in the electric field of an inductor during its manufacturing and then cooled – thus obtaining a high degree of hardness over its entire surface.

 

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