Materials and heat treatment

Meeting the demand for load carrying capacity and energy efficiency

Examining metal sample
SKF is at the forefront of understanding the interaction and exploitation of steel and heat treatment combinations to meet the ever increasing demand for load carrying capacity and energy efficiency.

Through its heat treatment processes, SKF achieves excellent steel properties by controlling the microstructure and the residual stresses in steel. The continuous drive for optimizing the interaction between material and heat treatment is now focused on making heat treatment equipment smaller and more energy efficient, while still attaining the material properties required for different applications. New computer-based techniques are used to understand deformation behaviour and response of hardened steels under extreme load conditions.

Technology development within non-metallic materials, such as polymers and ceramics, is also important. SKF focuses strongly on their friction and weight reduction properties, enabling them to support market trends and maintain the sustainable strengths of SKF’s products.
  • In 2011 SKF signed a strategic partnership agreement with CITIC Pacific Special Steel Co., Ltd with the ambition of creating sustainable development for both parties.
  • In November 2011, SKF received the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International) award, for our numerous outstanding contributions to the Association’s conferences
  • SKF’s lightweight hub bearing unit is a new wheel end solution of the flanged hub bearing design, which contributes to significant weight reduction, thereby reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. By combining steel, which provides the expected roller bearing performance, with aluminum as the flanged structural component, the overall weight can be reduced by up to 30% compared to the standard unit.
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