SKF celebrates centenary of the SRB, the invention that kept industry rolling
8 May 2019
Luton-based SKF UK is joining its Swedish parent company in celebrating the centenary of the invention of the spherical roller bearing (SRB) by one of its young engineers.
Arvid Palmgren had started working with the firm just two years earlier when he designed the product.
It was created to complement the self-aligning ball bearing, due to its ability to accommodate misalignment under heavy loads and went on to be patented in scores of country and used around the world.
Since then the firm has manufactured an increasingly wide range of SRBs, the most spectacular of which include those provided for:
The High Roller Ferris wheel on Las Vegas Strip with two SRBs each weighing 8.8 tonnes
Bahrain World Trade Center’s three 29 metres diameter wind turbine shafts
The new Zeppelin NT airship
Petra Öberg Gustafsson, SKF product line manager, self-aligning bearings said:
“From the very start, SKF has taken the lead in the development of self-aligning bearings.
“With the continued push for high performance in ever more challenging environments, it will be interesting to see what the next 100 years of development generates.!”
Palmgren went on to develop theories for the calculation of ball bearing life which are still applied in industry. Awarded the Swedish Academy of Engineering Science’s gold medal in 1938, he went on to head SKF's technical department from 1937 until 1955. He died in 1971 at the age of 81.