NTN Corporation, based in Osaka, Japan, has successfully developed a hydrodynamic bearing with an inner diameter of just 0.6 mm. Claimed to be the smallest of its type in the world, the Hydrodynamic BEARPHITE bearing is reported to significantly improve the quietness and prolong the operating life of micro fan motors used in mobile devices, including smartphones and wearable devices.
The new bearing utilises NTN’s precision machining technology to create herringbone-type hydrodynamic pressure grooves in oil-impregnated sintered bearings. This design forms an oil film around the entire circumference of the bearing clearance, resulting in a lightweight, compact, quiet, and high-speed rotation bearing.
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With a trend towards smaller, high-speed and high-capacity mobile devices, as well as other applications such as Wi-Fi routers, the demand for micro fan motors is increasing. Many of these are located close to the user, and, as a result, it is important for these devices to maintain a high level of quietness, regardless of their position.
It can be challenging to process hydrodynamic pressure grooves smaller than 1 mm using general machining techniques, explains NTN. However, the company has successfully developed the Hydrodynamic BEARPHITE by adapting its press-forming conditions.
As well as the mobile device sector, NTN plans to extend the sales of Hydrodynamic BEARPHITE across various industries including automotive equipment, general consumer electronics, and healthcare machinery.