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NSK develops world’s first bearing life prediction method

April 28, 2023

NSK announced on March 24 that it has successfully developed the world’s first technology for predicting bearing life with high accuracy. The Micro Ultrasonic Testing (Micro-UT) method, a non-destructive testing method using ultrasonic waves, is used to accurately predict the delamination life of inner and outer rings of steel bearings based on the size and amount of non-metallic inclusions in the steel material (see image).

This technology makes it possible to optimize the basic dynamic load rating, which is a parameter of the life calculation method of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard, to more accurately predict the life of bearings. This helps users reduce the frequency of machine maintenance and downsize their machines. In addition to starting individual technical proposals for infrastructure customers who have strong demands for longer bearing life, the technology will be applied to standard bearings listed in catalogs within a few years.

The company was able to develop the technology in a short period of time by using its proprietary “Real Digital Twin” development method and an open innovation project with Kyushu University, which has excellent knowledge in material strength and other areas. The method reduced the R&D time from 10 to 20 years on an experimental basis to just a few years.

For more information about the method, please visit:


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