Slewing bearings for more efficient wind turbines
Fossil raw materials are becoming scarcer. The energy demand is constantly growing. Renewable energies are playing an increasingly important role in making our industry greener. Essential for wind energy: slewing bearings from thyssenkrupp rothe erde. Thanks to our patented hardening process, they defy the forces of nature and now support the production of sustainable electricity even more efficiently.
The share of renewable energies is increasing, and their expansion is being promoted more and more. The big goal is to make the energy supply more climate-friendly. In Germany, wind energy is now the most important renewable source of electricity. However, to produce energy, thyssenkrupp rothe erde® slewing bearings are needed. For the conversion of wind power into electrical energy, the colleagues from Dortmund, Lippstadt, and 18 other locations worldwide are continuously developing 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. The special process for induction hardening of bearing rings for slewing bearings is one of more than 22,000 innovations protected in the group's 125-year patent history.
Making bearing rings more efficient and resistant
Through specially developed hardening processes, our technicians give the slewing bearings a long service life and also the ability to withstand extreme loads, making them particularly resistant to the forces of nature.
The patent “Method for the production of a bearing ring for large-size rolling bearings” 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.
The previous process used indicators for hardening bearing rings, that were moved over the bearing ring in the feed process. However, in this process, one area of the surface cannot be hardened. The result: a so-called slip – a small segment that is incompletely hardened due to the process and where the bearing ring remains softer. This slip is not critical in typical applications for slewing bearings but is a problem in rotor bearings.
Patented hardening process for bearing rings
The solution from our thyssenkrupp rothe erde experts: Slipless induction hardening. Through coordinated processes during heating and quenching, the process enables the hardened surface to be produced without slippage. The slewing bearing thus meets the special requirements needed for the rotor bearing of a wind turbine.
thyssenkrupp’s patent department is one of the oldest in the country. Each year the colleagues protect new innovations through patenting. What the work of the intellectual property experts looks like is explained by Dr. Stephan Wolke, Head of Intellectual Property & Services and CEO of thyssenkrupp Intellectual Property GmbH in our stories.