(19)
(11)EP 3 018 372 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
24.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/26

(21)Application number: 15189752.7

(22)Date of filing:  14.10.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F16C 23/08  (2006.01)
F16C 43/06  (2006.01)
F16C 33/37  (2006.01)

(54)

SPACER DEVICE, TOROIDAL ROLLER BEARING AND METHOD

ABSTANDSHALTERVORRICHTUNG, TOROID-KUGELLAGER UND VERFAHREN

DISPOSITIF D'ESPACEMENT, PALIER À ROULEMENT TOROÏDAL ET PROCÉDÉ


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 07.11.2014 SE 1451330

(43)Date of publication of application:
11.05.2016 Bulletin 2016/19

(73)Proprietor: Aktiebolaget SKF
41 550 Göteborg (SE)

(72)Inventor:
  • Kullin, Jonas
    S-438 91 Landvetter (SE)

(74)Representative: Kuhstrebe, Jochen et al
SKF GmbH Gunnar-Wester-Straße 12
97421 Schweinfurt
97421 Schweinfurt (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2012/044222
JP-A- 2007 255 536
JP-A- 2007 092 983
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present invention concerns a spacer device for roller elements in a toroidal roller bearing, and a toroidal roller bearing comprising such a spacer device. The present invention also concerns a method for manufacturing a toroidal device comprising such a spacer device.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] Toroidal roller bearings, such as CARB® toroidal roller bearings, are typically used for their ability of allowing both axial and angular displacement with respect to the outer ring and the inner ring of the toroidal roller bearing. This is enabled by the curved construction of the inner and outer rings' raceways which are adapted to conform with the curved shape of the roller elements, as described in European patent no. EP 0175858 for example. Hence, toroidal roller bearings combine self-aligning capability with axial displacement ability.

    [0003] In order to maintain and support the roller elements in a toroidal roller bearing it is known to provide a cage to separate adjacent roller elements from each other in the tangential direction of the toroidal roller bearing, which restricts the movements of the roller elements in relation to each other and prevents roller-to-roller contact between the roller elements.

    [0004] International Publication no. WO 2012/044222 A1 discloses the features of the preamble of claim 1, a toroidal roller bearing with a spacer device for roller elements. The spacer device comprises a first and second roller-contacting surfaces having a concave shape adapted to conform with respective convex contacting surfaces of the toroidal roller elements and at least one axial end portion which is elastically deformable so that the assembly of the toroidal bearing may be facilitated.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0005] An object of the invention is to provide an improved spacer device for roller elements in a toroidal roller bearing, such as CARB® toroidal roller bearing, having an inner ring and an outer ring, wherein the toroidal roller bearing allows for axial and angular displacement between the inner ring and the outer ring, which spacer device enables efficient separation of the roller elements.

    [0006] This object is achieved by a spacer device that comprises a first roller element-contacting surface and a second roller element-contacting surface on opposite sides thereof, which first and second roller-contacting surfaces are arranged to separate two adjacent roller elements in a tangential direction of the toroidal roller bearing when the spacer device is in use, i.e. when the spacer device is mounted in a toroidal roller bearing. Each of the first and second roller element-contacting surfaces has a concave shape adapted to conform to respective convex contacting surfaces of the roller elements. The spacer device comprises end members that have projections that extend outwards from first and second roller-contacting surfaces and which are arranged to extend at least partly over the ends of two adjacent roller elements when the spacer device is in use, and thereby limit the axial movement of roller elements. The spacer device further comprises non-elastically deformable material.

    [0007] The present invention is based on the insight that the shape of the outer ring raceway of a toroidal roller bearing geometrically prevents the rollers from excessive skew, i.e. rotation of the roller elements' rotational axis around an axis perpendicular to the raceway. Due to the geometrical prevention of skew in toroidal roller bearings, spacer devices in a toroidal roller bearing do not need to be dimensioned with strength as a priority. Furthermore, by providing spacer devices for roller elements in toroidal roller bearings which are adapted to conform to the rolling surfaces of the roller elements, the number of roller elements, and consequently the load bearing capabilities, may be enhanced in the toroidal roller bearing while enabling improved and efficient assembly. In other words, the spacer device is advantageous in that it allows for assembly of an increased number of roller elements which typically leaves less available space for intermediately arranged spacer devices. Hence, in a toroidal roller bearing comprising the spacer device according to the present invention, the carrying capacity of the bearing may be increased by increasing the number of rollers. For example, substantially the same carrying capacity as a full complement toroidal roller bearing, but without roller-to-roller contact, may be provided.

    [0008] During operation in a toroidal roller bearing, the spacer device supports and separates the roller elements and thereby avoids roller-to-roller wear between adjacent roller elements and the contact between the spacer device and the roller elements allows for a build-up of a lubricating oil film. The oil film build-up is generated by the effective non-zero velocity in the interface between a roller element-contacting surface of the spacer device and the associated rolling surface of a roller element. In other words, the effective velocity on an oil fragment between a spacer device and a roller element will not be opposite and equal, as in the case with roller-to-roller contact. Hence, the spacer device facilitates for an increased number of roller elements in the bearing which increases, or maximizes, the load bearing properties while providing efficient and durable operation due to oil film build-up.

    [0009] The spacer device does not necessarily have to comprise elastically deformable material but can instead comprise non-elastically deformable material.

    [0010] According to an embodiment of the invention the spacer device comprises at least one recess. Such a recess reduces the material and weight of the spacer device and may provide a channel to guide or maintain lubricating oil to where it is needed.

    [0011] According to an embodiment of the invention the spacer device comprises an opening that extends from the first roller element contacting-surface to the second roller element-contacting surface, in a tangential direction of the toroidal roller bearing when the spacer device is in use, and the opening is located at the centre of the spacer device where the tangential distance between the first and second roller element-contacting surfaces is smallest. In this way the thinnest and most fragile section of a spacer device in the tangential direction may advantageously be avoided, thereby improving the durability and stability of the spacer device. The opening allows roller elements to be arranged with minimized tangential distance between each other, wherein portions of the contacting surface of a roller element will extend into the opening during operation. Substantially zero tangential distance between the contacting surfaces at the tangentially widest sections of the roller elements may thus be provided. The tangential distance may at least be substantially reduced. Alternatively, depressions may be provided in one or both the roller element-contacting surfaces of the spacer device.

    [0012] The present invention also concerns a toroidal roller bearing that comprises at least one spacer device according to any of the preceding claims. The toroidal roller bearing may be a sealed toroidal roller bearing. The toroidal roller bearing may be used in automotive, wind, marine, metal producing applications and any other machine applications. For example, the toroidal roller bearing may be used in paper machines, continuous casters, fans and blowers, crushers and grinding mills, industrial transmissions, conveyors, and hydraulic motors and pumps.

    [0013] The present invention further concerns a method for inserting at least a final roller element or a final spacer device into a toroidal roller bearing having an inner ring, an outer ring, roller elements and a plurality of spacer devices according to any of the embodiments of the present invention inserted between adjacent roller elements, wherein the toroidal roller bearing allows for axial and angular displacement between the inner ring and the outer ring. The spacer device namely comprises a first and second roller element-contacting surface on opposite sides thereof, which first and second roller-contacting surfaces are arranged to separate two adjacent roller elements in a tangential direction of the toroidal roller bearing, and wherein each of the first and second roller element-contacting surfaces has a concave shape adapted to conform to respective convex contacting surfaces of the roller elements. The spacer device also comprises end members that have projections that extend outwards from first and second roller-contacting surfaces and which are arranged to extend at least partly over the ends of two adjacent roller elements when the spacer device is in use. The method comprises the steps of tilting the inner ring of the toroidal roller bearing with respect to the outer ring whereby the distance between rolling elements is increased, and inserting a roller element between two spacer devices, or inserting a spacer device between two roller elements.

    [0014] Such a method facilitates assembly of a toroidal roller bearing so that a spacer device according to the present invention may be inserted into the restricted available space between two closely arranged roller elements. Such a method is also advantageous in that it alleviates assembly and production considerations relating to damages occurring during manufacturing. Spacer devices can namely be mounted in a toroidal roller bearing without damaging the bearing's rings and roller elements.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0015] The present invention will hereinafter be further explained by means of non-limiting examples with reference to the appended schematic figures where;
    Figure 1
    shows a perspective view of a toroidal roller bearing according to the prior art,
    Figure 2
    shows spacer devices according to the prior art,
    Figure 3
    shows a spacer device according to an embodiment of the invention,
    Figure 4
    shows spacer devices according to an embodiment of the invention provided between roller elements of a toroidal roller bearing from above, and
    Figures 5-7
    shows the steps of a method according to an embodiment of the present invention.


    [0016] It should be noted that the drawings have not been drawn to scale and that the dimensions of certain features have been exaggerated for the sake of clarity.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



    [0017] Figure 1 shows a toroidal roller bearing 10 according to the prior art. The toroidal roller bearing comprises an inner ring 12 and an outer ring 14, wherein the toroidal roller bearing 10 allows for axial and angular displacement between the inner ring 12 and the outer ring 14. A plurality of roller elements 16 are arranged between the inner ring raceway and the outer ring raceway.

    [0018] The prior art toroidal roller bearing 10 comprises a plurality of spacer devices 18 comprising elastically deformable material which are to be inserted in between adjacent roller elements 16a, 16b in order to maintain the roller elements of the toroidal roller bearing in their intended relative position with respect to each other and prevent roller-to-roller contact between the roller elements 16.

    [0019] Figure 2 shows several examples of spacer devices 18 according to the prior art. Each spacer device 18 comprises a first roller element-contacting surface 20 and a second roller element-contacting surface 22 on opposite sides thereof. The first roller element-contacting surface 20 and the second roller-contacting surface 22 are arranged to separate two adjacent roller elements 16a, 16b in a tangential direction of the toroidal roller bearing 10 when the spacer device 18 is in use. Each of the first roller element-contacting surface 20 and the second roller-contacting surface 22 has a concave shape 24 adapted to conform to respective convex contacting surfaces of the roller elements 16.

    [0020] A spacer device 18 can comprise an opening 26 that extends from the first roller element contacting-surface 20 to the second roller element-contacting surface 22 and the opening 26 may be located at the centre of the spacer device 18.

    [0021] A spacer device 18 can additionally, or alternatively comprise at least one recess 28 located on any part(s) of the spacer device 18. For example, the roller element-contacting surfaces 20, 22 of the spacer device may be provided with a plurality connected and/or non-connected recesses to facilitate lubrication and a local oil film-building.

    [0022] Figure 3 shows a spacer device 18 according to the present invention. It should be noted that a spacer device 18 according to the present invention can be of any suitable shape including all of the shapes shown in figure 2 and can have any texture that is suitable for oil-film building. The spacer device 18 according to the present invention differs from the spacer devices according to the prior art in that it comprises end members 30 that have projections that extend outwards from first roller-contacting surfaces 20 and the second roller-contacting surface 22 and which are arranged to extend at least partly over the ends of two adjacent roller elements 16a, 16b when the spacer device 18 is in use, as shown in figure 4. The spacer device 18 according to the present invention also differs from the spacer devices according to the prior art in that it does not necessarily have to be made from eleastically deformable material in order to facilitate its mounting in a toroidal roller bearing 10, since spacer devices 18 according to the present invention can be mounted in a toroidal roller bearing 10 using a method according to the present invention.

    [0023] The spacer device 18 according to the present invention may namely comprise any suitable material. For example, the spacer device 18 may comprise any of the following:
    • a pressed sheet steel cage made from continuously hot-rolled low carbon sheet steel according to (DIN) EN 10111:1998 or stainless steel X5CrNi18-10 according to EN 10088-1:1995
    • a machined steel cage made from non-alloyed structural steel of type S355GT (St 52) according to EN 10 025:1990 + A:1993. The surface of the machined steel cage may be treated to improve sliding and wear resistance properties
    • a sheet brass cage comprising brass conforming to EN 1652:1997.
    • a machined brass cage machined from a CW612N cast or wrought brass according to EN 1652:1997.
    • a polymer cage (with or without glass fibre reinforcement) comprising Polyamide 66, Polyamide 4,6, Polyetheretherketone (PEEK), Phenolic resin, or
    • other engineering polymer materials, light alloys or special cast iron.


    [0024] The dimensions and geometry of a spacer device 18 may be adapted to a toroidal roller bearing 10 and the available internal space. The space available for a spacer device 18 positioned between and separating adjacent roller elements 16a, 16b in a toroidal roller bearing 10 may for example be defined as a length equal to or less than the roller element 16 axial length, a radial space equal to or less than the shape, or radial dimension, of the roller element 16 and a tangential space equal to or smaller than the total tangential roller-to-roller play divided by the number of roller elements 16 plus the off-centered tangential space between two roller element surfaces when the roller elements contact each other, i.e. the space intended to accommodate the axial end portions of the spacer device 18. By adapting, and/or limiting, the dimensions of the spacer device 18, the design options of toroidal roller bearing arrangements increase. A spacer device 18 according to the present invention may be adapted to avoid contact with the inner or outer raceways of the toroidal roller bearing 10 although this is not necessary.

    [0025] Figure 4 shows two adjacent roller elements 16a, 16b and three spacer devices 18 according to an embodiment of the present invention from above. It can be seen that each spacer device 18 comprises end members 30 that have oppositely directed projections that extend at least partly over the ends of the two adjacent roller elements 16a, 16b between which each spacer device 18 is inserted. It should be noted that the end members 30 of the spacer devices 18 do not need to press against the ends of the roller elements 16. There is preferably some play, i.e. an axial gap, between the end members 30 and the ends of the roller elements 16 so that the roller elements 16 are not decelerated when the toroidal roller bearing 10 is in use.

    [0026] The present invention also concerns a toroidal roller bearing 10, such as the one shown in figure 1 but comprising at least one spacer device according to the present invention. A spacer device 18 according to the present invention is preferably provided between every two adjacent roller elements 16a, 16b. However, a toroidal roller bearing 10 according to the present invention may comprise just one spacer device 18, or a plurality of spacer devices 18 evenly or unevenly distributed around the toroidal roller bearing 10. The toroidal roller bearing 10 may then comprise spacer devices of any other suitable form that do not comprise end members 30 that have projections that extend outwards from their first and second roller-contacting surfaces 20, 22 and which are arranged to extend at least partly over the ends of two adjacent roller elements 16a, 16b, between adjacent roller elements 16a, 16b.

    [0027] A toroidal roller bearing 10 according to the present invention may range in size from 10 mm diameter to a few metres diameter and have a load-carrying capacity from a few tens of grams to many thousands of tonnes. The toroidal roller bearing 10 according to the present invention may namely be of any size and have any load-carrying capacity.

    [0028] The toroidal roller bearing 10 may for example be a CARB® toroidal roller bearing. A CARB® toroidal roller bearing is self-aligning like a spherical roller bearing, and axially free like a cylindrical or needle roller bearing. It accommodates misalignment and axial displacement within the bearing without inducing internal axial loads with virtually no increase in friction. This eliminates the need to compromise between a tight fit and axial freedom, permitting tight fits to be used to eliminate creep and fretting corrosion, which commonly occur with conventional bearing arrangements. The results are lower operating temperatures and reduced vibration levels and improvements in reliability, bearing and lubricant life and energy consumption.

    [0029] The toroidal roller bearing 10 according to the present invention can be a sealed toroidal roller bearing. The open areas on the two axial end faces of the toroidal roller bearing 10 between the inner ring 12 and the outer ring 14 may comprise seals for preventing dust, dirt etc. from entering the bearing. The seals can also retain lubricant, such as oil or grease, in the bearing. The seals may for instance be made of a polymer or a metal. Using spacer devices according to the present invention results in there being more space available for seals compared to a conventional toroidal roller bearing having a cage.

    [0030] Figures 5-7 show the steps of a method for inserting at least a final roller element 16 or a final spacer device 18 into a toroidal roller bearing 10 having an inner ring 12, an outer ring 14, roller elements 16 and a plurality of spacer devices 18 according to an embodiment of the present invention inserted between adjacent roller elements 16a, 16b.

    [0031] Figure 5 shows a toroidal roller bearing 10 in which the inner ring 12 lies in the plane of the outer ring 14. The distance between the centres of opposing roller elements 16 is A.

    [0032] In order to insert at least a final roller element 16 into a toroidal roller bearing 10 in assembling the toroidal roller bearing 10, the inner ring 12 of the toroidal roller bearing 10 is tilted with respect to the outer ring 14 so that the inner ring 12 no longer lies in the plane of the outer ring 14 as shown in figure 6, whereby the distance between rolling elements 16 is increased, i.e. distance B in figure 6 is greater than distance A in figure 5. Since extra space is thereby created between roller elements 16, a roller element 16 may consequently be more easily inserted between two already inserted spacer devices 18, or a spacer device 18 may be more easily inserted between two already inserted roller elements 16. Once all of the roller elements 16 have been inserted between the inner ring 12 and the outer ring 14 of the toroidal roller bearing 10, the inner ring 12 can be tilted back into alignment with the outer ring 14.

    [0033] Figure 7 shows that spacer devices 18 supporting already inserted roller bearings 16a and 16c may be moved apart to create more space between spacer elements 18 in order to facilitate the insertion of at least a final roller element 16b.

    [0034] The method according to the present invention may of course also be used to facilitate the removal and replacement of a worn or damaged roller element 16 or spacer device 18.

    [0035] The optimum length of the end members 30 of a spacer element 18 for a particular size of toroidal roller bearing 10 can be calculated or experimentally determined to ensure that they will facilitate both the assembly of the toroidal roller bearing 10 and that they will keep its roller elements 16 in place when in use.

    [0036] Further modifications of the invention within the scope of the claims would be apparent to a skilled person.


    Claims

    1. Toroidal roller bearing (10) comprising spacer devices (18) for roller elements (16, 16a, 16b, 16c), the toroidal roller bearing (10) having an inner ring (12) and an outer ring (14), wherein the toroidal roller bearing (10) allows for axial and angular displacement between the inner ring (12) and the outer ring (14), wherein each spacer device (18) comprises a first roller element-contacting surface (20) and a second roller element-contacting surface (22) on opposite sides thereof, which first and second roller-contacting surfaces (20, 22) are arranged to separate two adjacent roller elements (16a, 16b) in a tangential direction of the toroidal roller bearing (10) when the spacer device (18) is in use, and wherein each of the first and second roller element-contacting surfaces (20, 22) has a concave shape (24) adapted to conform to respective convex contacting surfaces of the roller elements (16, 16a, 16b, 16c), characterized in that each spacer device (18) comprises end members (30) that have projections that extend outwards from first and second roller-contacting surfaces (20, 22) and which are arranged to extend at least partly over the ends of two adjacent roller elements (16, 16a, 16b) when the spacer device (18) is in use, and in that each spacer device (18) further comprises non-elastically deformable material, wherein each spacer device is provided between every two adjacent roller elements.
     
    2. Toroidal roller bearing (10) according to claim 1, characterized in that the spacer device (18) comprises at least one recess (28).
     
    3. Toroidal roller bearing (10) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the spacer device (18) comprises an opening (26) that extends from the first roller element contacting-surface (20) to the second roller element-contacting surface (22) and the opening (26) is located at the centre of the spacer device (18).
     
    4. Toroidal roller bearing (10) according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that it is a sealed toroidal roller bearing.
     
    5. Method for inserting at least a final roller element (16b) or a final spacer device (18) into a toroidal roller bearing (10) having an inner ring (12) and an outer ring (14), roller elements (16, 16a, 16b, 16c) and a plurality of spacer devices (18) inserted between every two adjacent roller elements (16a, 16b), wherein the toroidal roller bearing (10) allows for axial and angular displacement between the inner ring (12) and the outer ring (14), characterized in that each spacer device (18) comprises a first roller element-contacting surface (20) and second roller element-contacting surface (22) on opposite sides thereof, which first and second roller-contacting surfaces (20, 22) are arranged to separate two adjacent roller elements (16a, 16b) in a tangential direction of the toroidal roller bearing (10), and wherein each of the first and second roller element-contacting surfaces (20, 22) has a concave shape (24) adapted to conform to respective convex contacting surfaces of the roller elements (16, 16a, 16b, 16c), and wherein each spacer device (18) also comprises end members (30) that have projections that extend outwards from first and second roller-contacting surfaces (20, 22) and which are arranged to extend at least partly over the ends of two adjacent roller elements (16a, 16b) when the spacer device (18) is in use, and wherein each spacer device (18) comprises non-elastically deformable material, wherein the method comprises the steps of tilting the inner ring (12) of the toroidal roller bearing (10) with respect to the outer ring (14) whereby the distance (A) between rolling elements (16) is increased and inserting a roller element (16) between two spacer devices (18) or inserting a spacer device (18) between two roller elements (16a, 16b).
     
    6. Method according to claim 5, characterized in that the spacer device (18) comprises at least one recess (28).
     
    7. Method according to any of claims 5-6, characterized in that the spacer device (18) comprises an opening (26) that extends from the first roller element contacting-surface (20) to the second roller element-contacting surface (22) at the centre of the spacer device (18).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Toroidalwälzlager (10), Abstandhaltervorrichtungen (18) für Wälzelemente (16, 16a, 16b, 16c) umfassend, wobei das Toroidalwälzlager (10) einen Innenring (12) und einen Außenring (14) aufweist, wobei das Toroidalwälzlager (10) eine axiale und winklige Verschiebung zwischen dem Innenring (12) und dem Außenring (14) zulässt, wobei jede Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) eine erste Wälzelementkontaktfläche (20) und eine zweite Wälzelementkontaktfläche (22) auf deren entgegengesetzten Seiten umfasst, wobei die erste und zweite Wälzelementkontaktfläche (20, 22) dazu angeordnet sind, zwei angrenzende Wälzelemente (16a, 16b) in tangentialer Richtung des Toroidalwälzlagers (10) zu trennen, wenn die Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) verwendet wird, und wobei die erste und zweite Wälzelementkontaktfläche (20, 22) jeweils eine konkave Form (24) aufweisen, die dazu eingerichtet ist, zu entsprechenden konvexen Kontaktflächen der Wälzelemente (16, 16a, 16b, 16c) zu passen, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jede Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) Endelemente (30) umfasst, die Vorsprünge aufweisen, die sich von der ersten und zweiten Wälzelementkontaktfläche (20, 22) nach außen erstrecken und die dazu angeordnet sind, sich zumindest teilweise über die Enden von zwei angrenzenden Wälzelementen (16, 16a, 16b) zu erstrecken, wenn die Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) verwendet wird, und dass jede Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) ferner ein nicht elastisch verformbares Material umfasst, wobei jede Abstandhaltervorrichtung zwischen je zwei angrenzenden Wälzelementen vorgesehen ist.
     
    2. Toroidalwälzlager (10) nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass eine Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) mindestens eine Aussparung (28) umfasst.
     
    3. Toroidalwälzlager (10) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) eine Öffnung (26) umfasst, die sich von der ersten Wälzelementkontaktfläche (20) zur zweiten Wälzelementkontaktfläche (22) erstreckt, und wobei sich die Öffnung (26) in der Mitte der Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) befindet.
     
    4. Toroidalwälzlager (10) nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass es sich um ein verkapseltes Toroidalwälzlager handelt.
     
    5. Verfahren zum Einsetzen mindestens eines abschließenden Wälzelements (16b) oder einer abschließenden Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) in ein Toroidalwälzlager (10), das einen Innenring (12) und einen Außenring (14) aufweist, wobei Wälzelemente (16, 16a, 16b, 16c) und mehrere Abstandhaltervorrichtungen (18) jeweils zwischen zwei angrenzende Wälzelemente (16a, 16b) eingesetzt sind, wobei das Toroidalwälzlager (10) eine axiale und winklige Verschiebung zwischen dem Innenring (12) und dem Außenring (14) zulässt, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass jede Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) eine erste Wälzelementkontaktfläche (20) und eine zweite Wälzelementkontaktfläche (22) auf deren entgegengesetzten Seiten umfasst, wobei die erste und zweite Wälzelementkontaktfläche (20, 22) dazu angeordnet sind, zwei angrenzende Wälzelemente (16a, 16b) in tangentialer Richtung des Toroidalwälzlagers (10) zu trennen, und wobei die erste und zweite Wälzelementkontaktfläche (20, 22) jeweils eine konkave Form (24) aufweisen, die dazu eingerichtet ist, zu entsprechenden konvexen Kontaktflächen der Wälzelemente (16, 16a, 16b, 16c) zu passen, und wobei jede Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) außerdem Endelemente (30) umfasst, die Vorsprünge aufweisen, die sich von der ersten und zweiten Wälzelementkontaktfläche (20, 22) nach außen erstrecken und die dazu angeordnet sind, sich zumindest teilweise über die Enden von zwei angrenzenden Wälzelementen (16a, 16b) zu erstrecken, wenn die Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) verwendet wird, und wobei jede Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) ein nicht elastisch verformbares Material umfasst, wobei das Verfahren die Schritte des Neigens des Innenrings (12) des Toroidalwälzlagers (10) in Bezug zum Außenring (14), wobei der Abstand (A) zwischen den Wälzelementen (16) vergrößert wird, und des Einsetzens eines Wälzelements (16) zwischen zwei Abstandhaltervorrichtungen (18) oder des Einsetzens einer Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) zwischen zwei angrenzenden Wälzelementen (16a, 16b) umfasst.
     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) mindestens eine Aussparung (28) umfasst.
     
    7. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 5-6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) eine Öffnung (26) umfasst, die sich von der ersten Wälzelementkontaktfläche (20) zur zweiten Wälzelementkontaktfläche (22) in der Mitte der Abstandhaltervorrichtung (18) erstreckt.
     


    Revendications

    1. Palier à roulement toroïdal (10) comprenant des dispositifs d'espacement (18) pour des éléments de roulement (16, 16a, 16b, 16c), le palier à roulement toroïdal (10) ayant une bague intérieure (12) et une bague extérieure (14), le palier à roulement toroïdal (10) permettant un déplacement axial et angulaire entre la bague intérieure (12) et la bague extérieure (14), chaque dispositif d'espacement (18) comprenant une première surface de contact avec un élément de roulement (20) et une seconde surface de contact avec un élément de roulement (22) sur ses côtés opposés, lesquelles première et seconde surfaces de contact avec des éléments de roulement (20, 22) sont agencées pour séparer deux éléments de roulement (16a, 16b) adjacents dans une direction tangentielle du palier à roulement toroïdal (10) lorsque le dispositif d'espacement (18) est utilisé, et chacune des première et seconde surfaces de contact avec des éléments de roulement (20, 22) ayant une forme concave (24) adaptée pour se conformer aux surfaces de contact convexes respectives des éléments de roulement (16, 16a, 16b, 16c), caractérisé en ce que chaque dispositif d'espacement (18) comprend des éléments d'extrémité (30) qui ont des saillies qui s'étendent vers l'extérieur à partir des première et seconde surfaces de contact avec des éléments de roulement (20, 22) et qui sont agencées pour s'étendre au moins partiellement sur les extrémités de deux éléments de roulement (16, 16a, 16b) adjacents lorsque le dispositif d'espacement (18) est utilisé, et en ce que chaque dispositif d'espacement (18) comprend en outre un matériau non élastiquement déformable, chaque dispositif d'espacement étant prévu entre chaque deux éléments de roulement adjacents.
     
    2. Palier à roulement toroïdal (10) selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que le dispositif d'espacement (18) comprend au moins un évidement (28).
     
    3. Palier à roulement toroïdal (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que le dispositif d'espacement (18) comprend une ouverture (26) qui s'étend de la première surface de contact avec un élément de roulement (20) à la seconde surface de contact avec un élément de roulement (22) et l'ouverture (26) est située au centre du dispositif d'espacement (18).
     
    4. Palier à roulement toroïdal (10) selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce qu'il s'agit d'un palier à roulement toroïdal étanche.
     
    5. Procédé pour insérer au moins un élément de roulement final (16b) ou un dispositif d'espacement final (18) dans un palier à roulement toroïdal (10) ayant une bague intérieure (12) et une bague extérieure (14), des éléments de roulement (16, 16a, 16b, 16c) et une pluralité de dispositifs d'espacement (18) insérés entre chaque deux éléments de roulement (16a, 16b) adjacents, le palier à roulement toroïdal (10) permettant un déplacement axial et angulaire entre la bague intérieure (12) et la bague extérieure (14), caractérisé en ce que chaque dispositif d'espacement (18) comprend une première surface de contact avec un élément de roulement (20) et une seconde surface de contact avec un élément de roulement (22) sur ses côtés opposés, lesquelles première et seconde surfaces de contact avec des éléments de roulement (20, 22) sont agencées pour séparer deux éléments de roulement (16a, 16b) adjacents dans une direction tangentielle du palier à roulement toroïdal (10), et chacune des première et seconde surfaces de contact avec des éléments de roulement (20, 22) ayant une forme concave (24) adaptée pour se conformer aux surfaces de contact convexes respectives des éléments de roulement (16, 16a, 16b, 16c), et chaque dispositif d'espacement (18) comprenant également des éléments d'extrémité (30) qui ont des saillies qui s'étendent vers l'extérieur à partir des première et seconde surfaces de contact avec des éléments de roulement (20, 22) et qui sont agencées pour s'étendre au moins partiellement sur les extrémités de deux éléments de roulement (16a, 16b) adjacents lorsque le dispositif d'espacement (18) est utilisé, et chaque dispositif d'espacement (18) comprenant un matériau non élastiquement déformable, le procédé comprenant les étapes consistant à incliner la bague intérieure (12) du palier à roulement toroïdal (10) par rapport à la bague extérieure (14), ce qui augmente la distance (A) entre les éléments de roulement (16), et à insérer un élément de roulement (16) entre deux dispositifs d'espacement (18) ou à insérer un dispositif d'espacement (18) entre deux éléments de roulement (16a, 16b) .
     
    6. Procédé selon la revendication 5, caractérisé en ce que le dispositif d'espacement (18) comprend au moins un évidement (28).
     
    7. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 5 et 6, caractérisé en ce que le dispositif d'espacement (18) comprend une ouverture (26) qui s'étend de la première surface de contact avec un élément de roulement (20) à la seconde surface de contact avec un élément de roulement (22) au centre du dispositif d'espacement (18).
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description