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SKF life testing

SKF endurance testing activities are concentrated at the SKF Engineering Research Centre in the Netherlands. The test facilities there are unique in the bearing industry as regards sophistication and number of test rigs. The centre also supports work carried out at the research facilities of the major SKF manufacturing companies.
SKF undertakes life testing, mainly to be able to continuously improve its products. It is essential to understand and to formulate the fundamental physical laws governing bearing behaviour as a function of internal and external variables. Such variables may represent material properties, internal bearing geometry and conformity, cage design, misalignment, temperature and other operating conditions. However, many influencing factors are not of static but rather of dynamic nature. Examples are the topography of working contact surfaces, the material structure, the internal geometry and the lubricant properties, which continuously undergo change during the bearing operation.
SKF also undertakes life testing to
  • verify the performance commitments made in product catalogues
  • audit the quality of the SKF standard bearing production
  • research the influences of lubricants and lubricating conditions on bearing life
  • support the development of theories for rolling contact fatigue
  • compare with competitive products.
The powerful and firmly controlled life testing procedure combined with post-test investigations with modern and highly sophisticated equipment makes it possible to investigate the factors and their interactions in a systematic way.
High performance SKF Explorer bearings are an example of the implementation of the optimized influencing factors on the basis of analytical simulation models and experimental verification at component and full bearing level.
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