Detroit, Michigan – A revolutionary new wheel bearing design will go into serial production on the BMW X1, and is expected to be used on more vehicles in future due to its simplified mounting process and reduced weight.
Designed by the Schaeffler Group, the bearing uses spur gear teeth in a unique design where the wheel bearing and axle journal are connected axially, instead of radially. The component weighs ten per cent less, while its simplified mounting process reduces costs.
The company said that the weight reduction could amount to more than a kilogram overall for four wheels. The idea of spur gear teeth is not new, but economical manufacture of the design did not come about until the advent of high-precision cold forming, resulting in the initiation of the new bearing design in 2004.
“We are convinced that this groundbreaking invention will sooner or later become established with all automotive manufacturers,” said Dr. Manfred Krauss, chief engineer of chassis applications.