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LinkedIn: NSK Europe

How many hectares does a bearing in a disc harrow last?   "The answer is of course: It depends," says Dirk Rohmann. He is Senior Application Engineer Agriculture at NSK Europe with decades of experience in agriculture. "But that's not the end of the story. Because we know exactly what shortens the service life of a bearing and what we can do about it. A bearing will last longer in the toughest environments.” The main cause of bearing failure is dust ingress. The drier the ground, the more problematic it is for a warehouse. Once dust enters the interior where the balls are located, the end of the bearing is near. “Consequently, the most important task is to keep dust out of the bearing. Not an easy task when you consider that a disc harrow is literally being dragged through the dust in the field,” adds Rohmann. NSK's Agri Disc hub is therefore equipped with no fewer than ten levels of sealing to keep this dust out. It starts with an invitation pit on the outside that leads to a groove that already moves most of the dust out again as the Agri Disc hub spins. This is followed by no fewer than eight different nitrile sealing lips, each designed to reduce the speed of dust into the bearing. The slower the dust gets, the better the seals can do their job. “This enables quick weeding without prematurely ruining the bearings. We have cut camp after thousands of hectares, and we have found no dirt in camp. You could see how the amount of dust decreased with each sealing step until finally after five lips there was nothing left. So, the warehouse has to do a lot more,” explains Rohmann. So, when it comes to keeping dust out of the bearing, NSK's Agri Disc hubs are well equipped to ensure that even dry soil with a lot of dust will not cause premature bearing failure. Another bearing-damaging aspect is rocks in the ground. When the harrow disc hits a stone, the bearing is shock loaded both radially and axially. This is another challenge that camps struggle to cope with. So, the rockier the ground, the shorter their lifespan. The two-row balls inside an NSK Agri Disc hub therefore have a higher contact angle of 40 degrees, so that an optimum is found for absorbing axial and radial loads. This eliminates so-called flaking. In the bearing world, spalling is when pieces break out of either the ball or the groove that the ball runs in, usually because of impact loading. These pieces are called flakes. They remain inside the bearing and cause damage there. Better force management, even in the event of impact loads, thanks to optimized contact angles, ensures a longer service life on stony ground. These are just two examples of aspects affecting bearing life. Is the earth dry or wet? Does it contain many stones? Others are: At what speed and at what depth is the harrow used? How is it maintained? Is a high-pressure cleaner used for cleaning? NSK understands these challenges and knows how to overcome them. The NSK Agri Disc Hub – An Alternative that lasts (longer)! 


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