The oil and gas industry continues to push the limits of technology. Deeper wells, harsher environments, and more sophisticated drilling approaches all place additional demands on equipment, calling for larger, powerful, and robust solutions. Top drives, which power the drilling process, are right at the front line of that technological race, and when unplanned downtime can cost operators USD 1M a day, performance and reliability are critical attributes.
To meet the demands of leading top drive manufacturers, SKF has developed a new generation of tapered roller thrust bearings, the first to join its Explorer family of bearing products. With higher load ratings and bearing rating, life extended by up to 300%. The SKF Explorer tapered roller thrust bearings are ready for the next generation of larger, more powerful top drives. They can also be used to optimise the reliability of existing designs.
To maximise effective carrying capacity and improve resistance to shock loads and peak forces, SKF has optimised the length and diameter of the rollers, along with the profile of both rollers and raceways. The carefully designed relationship between rollers and raceways minimises the risk of edge stresses, while a smooth transition at the raceway edge avoids sharp edges and stress peaks.
SKF Explorer taper roller thrust bearings can be supplied with a new, optimised brass cage, or a pin-type cage which is particularly suitable for extreme operating conditions.