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China bearing industry is large but not strong-Why can not high quality bearings be made?

Dec 20, 2019

In this world, except for the earth, everything that needs to rotate needs bearings. Bearings exist in almost every corner of our lives. From the shared bicycles to the airliner, from the nuclear submarine to the space station, to the refrigerator, washing machine, computer cooling fan, range hood, vibrating motor in the mobile phone. Bearings are everywhere.

Bearing has a high technical content, which can be used as an important standard to measure the strength of a country's science, technology and industry. Nowadays, the world's powerful countries in science, technology and industry are both powerful in bearing manufacturing. One of the important reasons why China is an industrial large rather than an industrial power is that the bearing industry is large but not strong.

China tapered roller bearing

China's bearing output ranks third in the world, but a large number of high-end bearings rely on import.

More than 70% of the world bearing market is occupied by ten multinational bearing group companies, including one Swedish enterprise, five Japanese enterprises, two German enterprises and two American enterprises. But there is no Chinese company. The R & D, manufacturing and sales of high-end bearings are basically monopolized by the world's four major bearing giants, namely Timken of the United States, NSK of Japan, SKF of Sweden and fag of Germany.

The high-end market of bearing industry is monopolized by the above enterprises, while the middle and low-end market is mainly concentrated in China. In China, the top 10 bearing enterprises, such as ZWZ, account for only 24.7% of the total sales of the bearing industry, and the production concentration of the top 30 enterprises is only 37.4%.

China is an undisputed super bearing country. As early as 2014, China's bearing output has reached 19.6 billion sets, ranking the third in the world. China bearing production can support the pressure reducing toy of fingertip gyro, which accounts for one fifth of the world's production. The smallest bearing diameter produced in China is 0.6mm, and the largest bearing diameter is 11m.

However, China's bearing industry, like many industrial sectors, has huge production capacity and medium technology level. A few core areas have broken through the Western blockade, while a large number of high-end products still rely on imports.

What is the difference between Chinese bearings and imported bearings?

Like other mechanical products, China bearings are far behind the developed countries in terms of cutting-edge products, reliability and service life. In terms of high-speed bearings, the bearing brands of EMUs produced by domestic main engine plants are all from Europe and Japan, and the vacuum degassed bearing steel produced by China itself has a certain gap with foreign high-quality vacuum degassed steel in terms of quality stability and fatigue life.

As a mechanical product, bearing is a basic component that can't be handy. The performance of bearing mainly depends on material performance and processing technology. As the world's largest steel country, although China has rolled over the world in most steel products, it still lags behind Europe, America and Japan in the smelting of high-strength and high wear-resistant bearing steel. The gap in high-precision machining is also significant.

Why can't China make its own high-end bearings? The biggest problem is the material. Without good steel, high-end bearings can never be made. Take the automobile engine bearing as an example. The engine bearing has been working in "Purgatory" - it not only has to run at the speed of tens of thousands of revolutions per minute for a long time, but also bears various forms of stress extrusion, friction and ultra-high temperature. This puts forward very high requirements for the accuracy, performance, service life and reliability of the bearing, and the key factor determining these four points lies in its material. High end bearing steel can solve these problems well, but without high-end steel, even with the best bearing manufacturing technology, high-end bearing can not be made.

What is high-end steel? "Ppm" is a unit of oxygen content in steel making, which means parts per million or parts per million. Generally speaking, in the steel industry, 8 ppm steels belong to haogang; 5 ppm steels belong to high-end steels, which are exactly what high-end bearings need. The R & D, manufacturing and sales of high-end bearing steel are basically monopolized by world bearing giants Timken of the United States and SKF of Sweden. In the past few years, they set up bases in Yantai and Jinan, Shandong Province, respectively, to purchase low-end materials from China, use their core technology to make high-end bearings, and sell them to the Chinese market at ten times the price.

bearing steel

It is worth celebrating that this problem has finally been conquered by China. In July 2018, the first batch of high-end rare earth bearing steel of Xiwang special steel was successfully produced, its technical performance reached the international advanced level, and its product quality exceeded the relevant standards of the United States and Europe. The high-end rare earth bearing steel jointly built by Xiwang special steel and metal Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences can be said to solve the "neck sticking" problem of high-end bearing steel technology.

The SKET Bearing Company - The information comes from the Internet, the purpose of which is to convey more information, does not mean that we agree with its views or are responsible for its authenticity. If the reprinted information involves copyright and other issues, please contact us.


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