Wheel Bearings

Wheel Bearings
Bearings used in F1 cars must be designed to withstand extreme loads, speeds and high operating temperatures while keeping their size and weight to an absolute minimum.In a vehicle with a conventional engine, there will be on average around 100 to 150 bearings, many of which are key in reducing friction and energy expenditure and ensuring safe operation.A wheel bearing would costs £1100.

A wheel bearing would costs £1100 each and in a vehicle with a conventional engine, there will be on average around 100 to 150 bearings, many of which are key in reducing friction and energy expenditure and ensuring safe operation.

There are ball, roller and plain bearings for wheel hubs, gearbox, clutch, engine, turbo, MGU and suspension components as well as specialised support equipment, like high-speed condition monitoring systems to track component performance.

There is a use of very hard powder metals for gearbox and wheel bearings, high nitrogen steels, including our proprietary Nitromax alloy, and M50 (an extremely hard and heat resistant tool steel) for turbos. In most cases, bearing rollers are ceramic, in order to reduce friction and save power. 

Cages may be made from PEEK [a high-performance polymer], titanium or steel. Plain bearings for suspensions and similar applications are made in steel, titanium or even aluminium, with special liners in PTFE and ceramic coatings on the ball.

Bearings used in F1 cars must be designed to withstand extreme loads, speeds and high operating temperatures while keeping their size and weight to an absolute minimum. In the production process, all base materials are treated with high tech coatings to further improve their performance. 

The manufactures usually usesmanganese phosphate, diamond-like-carbon, and ceramic coatings on various bearing components, while seals and plain bearing liners are treated with special low friction coatings to increase engine efficiency.