The pressure to reduce costs in all areas of manufacturing means the integration of bearing systems into mating components is becoming increasingly common. The resulting assemblies are neater, quicker to put together and offer the additional benefits of reducing space, mass and problems of tolerance stack-up. The bearings Barden offer for such integrated assemblies are often special designs, calling upon the highest levels of innovation to supply bespoke solutions to what can often be the most extreme operating conditions.
For Barden, key areas of non-standard product design are the close integration of new materials, surface engineering, lubrication and bearing seal technologies. With Barden's hybrid bearings, Cronidur 30 material is used successfully to combine superior corrosion and wear resistance with the ability to withstand higher dynamic loads than conventional bearing steels. Used in conjunction with ceramic balls, significant gains in bearing life and performance can be achieved. Using full complement bearings can increase load capabilities significantly, also improving performance.
Barden has also taken the lead in surface engineering technology. The company works with recognised leaders in this field to provide advanced coatings and surface treatments that combat friction, prevent corrosion and reduce wear.
Lubrication plays a major role in any special bearing design. Barden's developments have concentrated on extending the speed and temperature capabilities of greases to enable the replacement of oil in high speed applications. This is important as removal of oil lubricating systems reduces component count, assembly time and overall system cost. In addition, grease lubrication meets the needs of many sectors for sealed-for-life operation.
Such developments have resulted in the introduction of Arcanol 75, a Polyurea based grease providing excellent critical run-in behaviour, high temperature stability, non-toxicity and favourable viscosity/temperature behaviour. This increasing use of grease in Barden's special bearings has, in turn, resulted in the development of a new generation of seals to retain lubricant and stop contamination.
Barden is at the cutting-edge of bearing seal design, developing a solution to the previously problematic matter of fitting seals to standard angular contact bearings. It has done this with a revolutionary RSD seal, a unit that enables pump manufacturers and machine tool spindle builders to enjoy the benefits of grease lubrication with complete bearing interchangability.
The RSD seals have retention characteristics equal to standard seal designs but are fitted so that there is no contact with the bearing inner rings. As a result, friction is minimised and there is no rise in the operating temperature. The problem of ring distortion from seal radial pressure is also overcome, while the space between the balls serves as a grease reservoir.
More than 50% of Barden's production is devoted to special bearings, many of which offer added value by reducing the number of adjacent component parts, optimising both cost and technical advantage.