SMT Updates Wheel Bearing Design to Improve Seal Performance

by | Oct 3, 2023 | Product Update, SMT, SMT GW Series, Wheel Bearing

Updates to GW Series Wheel Bearings

SMT, based in Japan, is one of the most well-known manufacturers of quality, stainless steel ball bearings and specialty bearings. They design and manufacture bearings for a wide variety of industries and applications, while continuing to improve their products to meet growing customer demands.

Recently, SMT has updated the design of their GW Series wheel bearings to improve their seal performance and reduce liquid and dust intrusion, thereby increasing the lifespan and usability of the wheel bearings.

SMT Testing Process for Improved GW Series Wheel Bearings Design

To better serve their customers, engineers at SMT developed an improved wheel bearing seal. This new product design (GW3SS 2RS) was rigorously tested and the results compared to their previous GW wheel bearing design (GW3SSX). Both bearing types were tested, along with versions without grease, with seals installed on both sides of the bearings, to ensure proper results.

SMT conducted an immersion test and a washing test on both the old and new wheel bearing seal versions. Both these tests measured how well the seal adhered and if or how much liquid was able to pass through the seal barrier. The wheel bearings were all immersed in tap water where the results were recorded and then washed with anti-rust oil where the results were recorded, to simulate actual customer applications to achieve the most accurate data.

In both tests, the new SMT GW wheel bearing seal versions (GW3SS/GW4SS 2RS) performed better than the previous design version, proving the success of the updated seal style at reducing liquid intrusion and debris contamination.

Updates to the SMT GW Wheel Bearing Series Nomenclature

The new SMT GW wheel bearing seal series design has replaced the use of a shield and seal combination with an improved, nitrile rubber seal. Because of these product developments, there are also changes to the nomenclature and part numbers that customers need to be aware of.

The following is a list of the updated GW wheel bearing series part numbers:

  • GW1X to GW1 2RS
  • GW1SSX to GW1SS 2RS
  • GW2X to GW2 2RS
  • GW2SSX to GW2SS 2RS
  • GW3X to GW3 2RS
  • GW3SSX to GW3SS 2RS
  • GW4X to GW4 2RS
  • GW4SSX to GW4SS 2RS
  • GW1 to GW1 ZZ
  • GW2 to GW2 ZZ
  • GW3 to GW3 ZZ
  • GW4 to GW4 ZZ

Overview of the SMT GW Wheel Bearing Series

SMT’s GW wheel bearing series is manufactured utilizing an integrated construction of the bearings and precision-ground W-shaped outer ring. It is operable with either an outer or inner V-shape of the W-shaped outer ring and is compatible as a guide wheel for a variety of applications.

The GW series is tolerant to both radial and axial loads and has an inner construction of double row angular contact types, which is also resistant to moment load. These bearings are available in both SAE 52100 bearing steel and AISI 400C stainless steel.

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