13.8M seamless integral bearing for wind power installation vessel to set new record

Recently, the last batch of bearing rings for cranes of wind power installation vessels was shipped smoothly from Elite. The order includes a total of 9 pieces of oversized bearing rings with diameters of 12m-14m, the largest of which has a diameter of over 13.8m, which means that the record of seamless integral bearings will soon be set by a Chinese company.

The basic structure of a bearing mainly consists of inner ring, outer ring, rolling element, cage, etc. The inner and outer rings of a bearing are divided into integral and segmented types. For oversized diameter bearings, due to a long time the world’s largest ring rolling machine processing capacity is only about ten meters, so oversized diameter bearings generally more than 9 meters should use segmental design, that is, a bearing ring by a number of arc forgings assembled.

But this design will bring two major problems.

The first is the difficulty of processing, processing cycle is long, to the multiple rectangular forging steel processing into a uniform arc, and in the performance of the same, very difficult. And once the performance of one of the pieces is too high or too low, it will lead to excessive wear in some areas of the bearing during service.

Secondly, the offshore working environment is harsh, with high winds and waves, high salt spray corrosion, and lifting equipment under high load continuous operation, the integral bearing will have higher accuracy and longer service life than the segmented bearing, which will also greatly reduce the downtime due to maintenance and shorten the return on investment cycle of the equipment.

In October 2021, Elite provided Luoshaft with a set of 11.5m diameter monolithic forging rings using the monolithic rolling process for the first time, opening the era of localization of ultra-large monolithic bearing manufacturing.

Since then, Elite has maintained a good strategic relationship with Luoshaft. This year, Elite and Luo Shaft joined hands again to manufacture 9 pieces of super large diameter integral bearing rings. It is reported that this batch of products will form 3 sets of bearings, which will be subsequently installed on three thousand-ton heavy-duty offshore wind turbine installation vessel pile-wound cranes to provide equipment support for offshore wind turbine installation in various wind farms.

The successful launch of this batch of products has an important leading role in the engineering field, providing more imaginative design space for the engineers of the “Great Weapon” to design and develop high-end marine engineering equipment. In the next step, Elite will continue to innovate in science and technology to promote the high-quality development of the offshore wind power industry, achieve the goal of “carbon peaking and carbon neutral”, and promote the green development of China to a new level.

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