FAG Aerospace said it has developed a new aircraft engine ball bearing that for the first time exceeds the speed parameter of four million millimeters per minute and uses only minimal cooling oil quantities.
The new bearing represents a significant technological leap in the development of more efficient engines and could reduce the consumption of the world´s passenger aircraft fleet by up to 200,000 tons of fuel annually.
The newly developed ball bearing has been validated on a Schaeffler test stand where the testing program requirements, i.e. the simulated flight cycle, were coordinated in close collaboration with the project partner MTU Aero Engines.
The new cooling design enables a specific adjustment of the maximum permissible ring temperatures using the same oil quantities as for conventional bearings. This means that almost 70 percent higher speed parameters are achieved with identical bearing temperatures and oil quantities, so that current materials and cooling oils can be used despite higher circumferential speeds. In turn, if the speed parameters remain the same and smaller quantities of cooling oil are used, then the bearing temperatures will be up to 25 degrees Celsius lower and power losses reduced by up to 25 percent. All this adds up to increased efficiency and reliability of the bearing support.