NRB Taiwan Finds VICOTE Coatings Outperform Traditional Coatings Such As Copper Or Silver Plating In Needle Roller Bearings


Needle Roller Bearing Co Ltd (Taiwan) was looking for a high performance material solution to produce its roller bearings required to resist the high wear, abrasion and the extreme conditions of this application. NRB Taiwan found their solution with VICOTE Coatings, based on VICTREX® PEEK™ polymer.

The leading manufacturer of needle roller bearings, NRB Taiwan, serves virtually all commercial market sectors where high speed rotational equipment is used, including automotive and industrial segments. Needle roller bearings are targeted specifically for use in motorcycle engines, outboard motors and other high rotational speed engines.

Traditionally, the outer surfaces of bearing cages are plated with copper and silver layers in order to reduce wear as bearings are subjected to rotational speeds of up to 9,000 rpm. During bearing testing, it was found that copper and silver layers wore off after over 100 hours of use and caused damage to the cage, indicating possible premature failure of the bearing.

Needle Roller Bearings Co. found that roller bearings covered in VICOTE 804 Blk show no signs of wear at the end of the same rigorous bearing tests. Additionally, this exceptional wear performance was achieved with a VICOTE Coating 50% thinner than the traditional Copper/Silver plating.

In instances where water-based coatings are applied directly to ferrous metals such as mild steel flash rusting can occur. VICOTE 804 Blk is one of the new F-grades of VICOTE® Coatings which are specially formulated by Victrex to solve the problem of flash rusting. F-grades are well suited for needle roller bearings and applications that are made from low carbon mild steel pressed sheet or machined steel.

VICOTE® Coating not only promotes superior roller bearing performance and extended life cycles, but the use of VICOTE® Coating makes the process of applying coatings to bearing cages simpler, faster and less damaging than copper and silver plating techniques.

"We are excited about VICOTE Coatings as a new solution to enhance the design and performance of our needle roller bearings; it not only provides higher performance and increases the life cycle of the needle roller bearings but also reduces the overall systems cost. We have now adopted this solution based on VICOTE Coating – a further advantage of the VICOTE Coating solution is that the process for applying the coating is simpler and less damaging to the bearing cage, than applying the traditional Copper/Silver plating – as the process for applying the Copper/Silver plating to the bearing cage can cause hydrogen embrittlement of the bearing cage, which can also lead to premature, catastrophic, bearing failure." said Louis Hsueh, Plant Manager, NRB Taiwan.

"Current solutions are expensive and do not provide adequate wear resistance relative to the demands of the application," said Gary Li, Country Manager of Victrex Taiwan. "VICOTE Coatings are well-suited for use in this application based on their excellent wear and durability, and their ability to withstand the extreme conditions of this application. This exceptional wear performance was achieved with a VICOTE coating 50% thinner than the traditional Copper/Silver plating. With over 30 million needle roller bearings produced and consumed annually across the globe – predominantly in motorcycles and outboard motors - this VICOTE Coatings technology should offer significant benefits to OEMs in these markets and others."

VICOTE Coatings are available in aqueous based liquid dispersions and powder form and exhibit the inherent performance characteristics of VICTREX PEEK polymer, including, exceptional wear, scratch and abrasion resistance, high temperature performance, ease of processing, very good barrier properties and very good chemical resistance.

VICOTE Coatings provide excellent wear resistance and durability for demanding applications that require exposure to extreme conditions such as high temperature, chemical and abrasion. By using VICOTE Coating in the coated part of their applications OEMs and coaters can extend application life, improve product performance and functionality, reduce overall systems cost and facilitate design freedoms to achieve product differentiation.

Benefit of VICOTE Coatings for Needle Roller Bearings;

  • Provide excellent wear and abrasion resistance
  • Reduce overall systems cost – less expensive than current
  • solutions due to offering longer life
  • Outperform traditional materials such as Copper/Silver plating
  • Provide higher performance and longer life
  • Ability to withstand extreme conditions of this application
  • Ease of Use

SOURCE: Victrex plc