100 year anniversary of the spherical roller bearing
The spherical roller bearing, that helps engineers accommodate heavy radial and axial loads in applications prone to misalignment or shaft deflections, celebrates its 100th birthday this year thanks to SKF. Originally developed in 1919 by an SKF engineer, Arvid Palmgren, the spherical roller bearing has since had many applications. It was created to complement the self-aligning ball bearing, due to its ability to accommodate misalignment under heavy loads.
On the fabled Las Vegas Strip in the USA, the High Roller ferris wheel contains two of the largest spherical roller bearings ever produced by SKF, each weighing in at 8.8 tonnes! SKF spherical roller bearings can be found in many applications, including some where you might not expect them. A good example is the Bahrain World Trade Center, where three tower wind turbines, each 29 metres in diameter, are architecturally installed between the two 240-metre-high (50-storey) towers of the World Trade Center and generate 1,300 MWh per year. The main shafts of the turbines were equipped with SKF spherical roller bearings.
Petra Öberg Gustafsson, Product Line Manager Self Aligning Bearings at SKF comments: “From the very start, SKF has taken the lead in the development of self-aligning bearings. We introduced spherical roller bearings in 1919 and have been consistently improving them ever since. Building on Arvid Palmgren’s original design, we now offer engineers the widest range of both open and sealed spherical roller bearings in the industry. With the continued push for high performance in ever more challenging environments, it will be interesting to see what the next 100 years of development generates!”