Technology and key benefits

Basic diagram of magnetic bearing control system

Active magnetic bearings operate with no surface contact eliminating bearing friction and wear. Electromagnets generate forces in radial and axial directions to levitate the shaft, allowing it to rotate contact-free. A control system actively monitors and continuously adjusts the current in the electromagnets to maintain shaft position. Their extreme precision and stability makes them suitable for a much wider operating range than conventional bearings. 

SKF S2M Magnetic Bearings have been making these design and performance possibilities a reality for more than two decades.

  • higher reliability and energy efficiency
  • virtually maintenance-free, reduced cost of operation
  • oil-free and contamination-free
  • high damping properties, withstand high transient loads
  • allow active control of the shaft unbalance
  • instantaneous and unlimited start/stop
  • operate in vacuum and in process gas, enabling sealed machines design
  • built in monitoring system
SKF permanent magnet high speed electric motors and generators are available up to 1MW. They match perfectly with the magnetic bearings for an all-in-one solution that brings higher energy efficiency at both full and partial load when compared with other types of drives, including geared ones.

Applications of the SKF magnetic bearings and high speed motors are listed in the Beyond Zero porfolio of SKF products and solutions that allow our customers to address environmental challenges, such as energy efficiency and environmental contamination.

Magnetic bearings - Principles of operation

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