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Bearing development

The bearing, ever more efficient

From the simplest wheel bearing to the most sophisticated one, innovation has deeply changed the bearing profile and functions. It still promises many new technological advances, on which NTN-SNR works incessantly.



 Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketch  

From Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketch to the first real bearing, its purpose was to allow two items to rotate with respect to each other. 


The two-in-one bearing

 Cartridge bearing  

The first huge advance in bearings was the replacement of two simple bearings with single rows of rolling elements by a cartridge, a bearing featuring two rows of rolling elements.

This type of 1st generation bearing is pre-adjusted, sealed and life lubricated. Usually, it is fitted on the forward drive wheel hub, it may also be mounted on the rear drive wheel. In either case, the bearing's small footprint and easy assembly has led to its wide-spread use.

ASB® bearing

Logo ASB


In a context where highly sophisticated systems are coming into general use on vehicles, SNR launched the ASB® bearing in 1997. ASB®, is the first mechatronic bearing, which became a world standard. It is a bearing incorporating a magnetic ring that allows extremely precise, reliable measurement of rotation speed.

Since then, numerous other mechatronic bearings have been developed. They allow speed, angle, effort, vibration measurement.


 flange bearing  

Manufacturers are absorbed in a continuous quest for simplicity and weight gain. Hence additional attachment –security functions have been incorporated into the bearing.

Some examples:    

- The flange bearing for drive wheels: its outer ring features components allowing it to be secured to the chassis.
- The "hub" bearing for non-drive wheels. The break disk and rim are directly secured to the outer ring. This facilitates assembly and improves reliability.
- The bi-flange bearing, known as 3rd generation. This incorporates two attachment-securing functions, securing to chassis and disk / rim securing.