Choice of materials halves weight but not performance
In areas like vehicles, low weight can ensure a maximum in driving enjoyment or dynamic performance at low consumption. Now, the newest generation of spherical bearings makes its own important contribution to this: Aluminium-titanium lightweight bearings offer the same perf
ormance values as standard bearing technology used to date, but they do it at half the weight and at a moderate price. The development from Hirschmann consists of a high-tensile outer ring made of aluminium, an inner ring made of titanium and a special liner foil – the Hirschmann liner made of PTFE with stainless steel fabric. Compared to a conventional solution made of steel, the total weight was reduced by some 50 percent. That translates into more performance in all situations – from braking to accelerating and taking curves.
The new product from the competence centre for bearing technology cuts a good figure in terms of price-performance, too – it is roughly twice as expensive as conventional plain bearings. The additional benefit is namely that after adding together all plain spherical bearings installed in a vehicle, the new material combination offers considerable savings in weight. That is something that is highly appreciated in the racing world, for example: At the 24-hour race in Le Mans, Hirschmann lightweight bearings were installed in the winning Porsche 919 Hybrid.
As building material, titanium is extremely light, extraordinarily resilient, and long lasting. This is the material of choice wherever high strength and low weight are on the list of requirements. In terms of weight savings, this premium material is in the same league as ceramic, but in view of the lower price when compared directly, is much more appealing for customers. But titanium is more demanding in terms of working, and it is difficult to form in a cold state. That is why Hirschmann relies on a combination of materials for its lightweight spherical bearings, and uses aluminium for the outer ring. The outer ring is roughly two-thirds lighter; the titanium inner ring weighs a third less.
Engineers have aimed the aluminium-titanium lightweight bearings at the transmission of static and dynamic power in situations with various loading directions. This robust, high-quality product can withstand high alternating and impact loads in radial and axial directions. These aluminium-titanium lightweight bearings have demonstrated their durability under extreme test conditions; high-performance Hirschmann bearing liners with a special bearing structure guarantee a high bearing index.