How to: Remove and Install a Bearing with Timken Shaft Guarding Technology for Setscrew Units Posted on 28 Jun 11:13

Jaguar Electric Speed Boat Record Posted on 28 Jun 11:07

1972 Navy Instructional Video On Bearings Posted on 16 Apr 11:25

Unlikely Superconductor Posted on 21 Mar 09:05

Unlikely Superconductor

Weird Superconductor Leads Double Life

Understanding strontium titanate’s odd behavior will aid efforts to develop materials that conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency at higher temperatures.
By Glennda Chui
March 20, 2018

Until about 50 years ago, all known superconductors were metals. This made sense, because metals have the largest number of loosely bound “carrier” electrons that are free to pair up and flow as electrical current with no resistance and 100 percent efficiency – the hallmark of superconductivity.

Then an odd one came along – strontium titanate, the first oxide material and first semiconductor found to be superconducting. Even though it doesn’t fit the classic profile of a superconductor – it has very few free-to-roam electrons – it becomes superconducting when conditions are right, although no one could explain why.

Now scientists have probed the superconducting behavior of its electrons in detail for the first time. They discovered it’s even weirder than they thought. Yet that’s good news, they said, because it gives them a new angle for thinking about what’s known as “high temperature” superconductivity, a phenomenon that could be harnessed for a future generation of perfectly efficient power lines, levitating trains and other revolutionary technologies.

The research team, led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, described their study in a paper published Jan. 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"If conventional metal superconductors are at one end of a spectrum, strontium titanate is all the way down at the other end. It has the lowest density of available electrons of any superconductor we know about,” said Adrian Swartz, a postdoctoral researcher at the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science (SIMES) who led the experimental part of the research with Hisashi Inoue, a Stanford graduate student at the time.

“It’s one of a large number of materials we call ‘unconventional’ superconductors because they can’t be explained by current theories,” Swartz said. “By studying its extreme behavior, we hope to gain insight into the ingredients that lead to superconductivity in these unconventional materials, including the ones that operate at higher temperatures.”

Dueling Theories

According to the widely accepted theory known as BCS for the initials of its inventors, conventional superconductivity is triggered by natural vibrations that ripple through a material’s atomic latticework. The vibrations cause carrier electrons to pair up and condense into a superfluid, which flows through the material with no resistance – a 100-percent-efficient electric current. In this picture, the ideal superconducting material contains a high density of fast-moving electrons, and even relatively weak lattice vibrations are enough to glue electron pairs together.

But outside the theory, in the realm of unconventional superconductors, no one knows what glues the electron pairs together, and none of the competing theories hold sway.

To find clues to what’s going on inside strontium titanate, scientists had to figure out how to apply an important tool for studying superconducting behavior, known as tunneling spectroscopy, to this material. That took several years, said Harold Hwang, a professor at SLAC and Stanford and SIMES investigator.

“The desire to do this experiment has been there for decades, but it’s been a technical challenge,” he said. “This is, as far as I know, the first complete set of data coming out of a tunneling experiment on this material.” Among other things, the team was able to observe how the material responded to doping, a commonly used process where electrons are added to a material to improve its electronic performance.

‘Everything is Upside Down’

The tunneling measurements revealed that strontium titanate is the exact opposite of what you’d expect in a superconductor: Its lattice vibrations are strong and its carrier electrons are few and slow.

“This is a system where everything is upside down,” Hwang said.

On the other hand, details like the behavior and density of its electrons and the energy required to form the superconducting state match what you would expect from conventional BCS theory almost exactly, Swartz said.

“Thus, strontium titanate seems to be an unconventional superconductor that acts like a conventional one in some respects,” he said. “This is quite a conundrum, and quite a surprise to us. We discovered something that was more confusing than we originally thought, which from a fundamental physics point of view is more profound.”

He added, “If we can improve our understanding of superconductivity in this puzzling set of circumstances, we could potentially learn how to harvest the ingredients for realizing superconductivity at higher temperatures.”

The next step, Swartz said, is to use tunneling spectroscopy to test a number of theoretical predictions about why strontium titanate acts the way it does.

SIMES is a joint SLAC/Sanford institute. Theorists from SIMES and from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville also contributed to this study, which was funded by the DOE Office of Science and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems Initiative.

Citation: A. Swartz et al., PNAS, 30 January 2018 (10.1073/pnas.1713916115)

For questions or comments, contact the SLAC Office of Communications at

SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, Calif., SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. 



Dust protection. A dust protective C-Wiper can be mounted to the outside of the end seal, ensuring operation in environments where metal chips are spattering. After 1,000 km of operation, the C-Wiper prevented foreign substances from entering the slide unit with no damage to the end seal.

Maintenance-free. The MX specification integrates IKO's proprietary C-Lube lubrication system. As the cylindrical rollers circulate, lubricant is distributed to the loading area through the rollers along the track rail. Lubrication is properly maintained in the loading area for over 12,500 miles, reducing valuable time spent lubricating hard to reach parts.

High load capacity. The MX models utilize rows of cylindrical rollers to provide a greater contact area than slides that use steel balls. They also maintain high rigidity in every direction. As a result, bearings deliver high load capacities––up to 674 kN for dynamic loads and 1,300 kN for static loads.

Mounting dimensions are compatible with MH and LWH ball type series. If you want to transition from a ball type to a roller type, your mounting dimensions do not need to change.

For more information, visit


About IKO

IKO is a world leader in needle roller bearings and linear motion rolling guides and was the first Company in Japan to initiate technical developments on the needle roller bearing. Compared with traditional ball bearings and other roller bearings, the needle roller bearing is small in size and light, but offers a very high load capacity. Needle roller bearings help to make the overall equipment more compact, thus saving money and resources. IKO has also developed a range of linear motion rolling guide units for applications that require extremely high levels of precision, such as semiconductor manufacturing equipment. 

NSK's NEW SUPER SPIN TOP Posted on 28 Feb 12:47

NSK Ltd. (NSK; Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Toshihiro Uchiyama) Group company, NSK Micro Precision Co., Ltd. (Brand name: ISC), has developed a unique spinning top that incorporates several super smooth precision bearings. The top can stay upright and spin for about 8 minutes even on rough surfaces (weighted ring model). The top is on sale today.

See it on YouTube® New Window

In Japan, koma-asobi (top spinning) is a traditional game that has been enjoyed for over four centuries. Children often play with tops during the New Year's holiday, and some claim they bring good luck. The shape of the traditional spinning top has evolved over the years, but the core physical principles of play have not. With a playful spirit, and dedication to excellence, NSK Micro Precision endeavored to further evolve the spinning top, ultimately arriving at a completely game-changing design. The new top features the high precision bearings favored by Yo-yo world champions, and the central shaft doesn't rotate. This allows the top to spin for about 8 minutes on most surfaces, far longer than your average top (typically 2-3 minutes on unsmooth surfaces).

This new toy follows NSK Micro Precision's hit fidget spinner, the Saturn Spinner, which sold out on the first day. The company hopes that these toys will spark the interest of children and adults alike in the mysteries of science and technology.

NSK Spintop On Sale Now

Available January 10, 2018
Price 16,800 Yen (incl. tax, weight ring model)
Vendor Spin Gear Yo-yo Shop New Window

Product Features

Normally, spinning tops are made from a single piece of material, and the top body and center axis portion rotate as one when spun. The tip of the center portion touches the ground, so friction between the two surfaces gradually slows the top until it falls. In contrast, the NSK Micro Precision spintop has two precision bearings on the central shaft, so the shaft effectively moves separate from the body. When spinning the top, only the body rotates, so rotation-slowing friction doesn't affect the body as with regular tops. This unique shaft and bearing combination allows the top to spin unhindered, even on rough surfaces. It also enables the top to be picked up and even inverted.

Product Features

NSK Micro Precision Co., Ltd., an NSK Group company, develops, manufactures, and sells miniature ball bearings (deep groove, angular). The company's products are used in computer components, dental and medical instruments, monetary devices, fishing gear, and a wide variety of other applications.

NSK Micro Precision has employed its expertise in bearings to develop fidget spinners, yo-yos, and spinning tops as its contribution to showing the cool side of Japan's manufacturing. The company also supports the World Yo-yo Contest and the Japan Open Yo-yo Championship (JOYC).

Contact: NSK Micro Precision Co., Ltd. Headquarters

FYH Has a New Trick Up Its "Sleeve" Posted on 28 Feb 12:35

Z LOCK SLEEVE ENGLISH from eiichik on Vimeo.

A MUCH Better Aluminum Alloy Posted on 25 Feb 09:26

R&D awards

LLNL researchers, working with partners from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Ames Laboratory and Eck Industries, have developed a new Aluminum/Cerium (ACE) alloy that offers superior mechanical properties. The alloy was recognized last Friday as one of the top 100 industrial inventions of 2016 by R&D Magazine. Shown with samples of the new alloy are (from left) Lab researchers Scott McCall, Jonathan Lee, Aurélien Perron and Patrice Turchi. Not pictured is team member and postdoctoral researcher Alex Baker. Photo by Carrie Martin/LLNL

LLNL researchers, working closely with partners at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Ames Laboratory and Eck Industries, have discovered a new family of aluminum alloys that offers superior mechanical properties over standard aluminum at high temperatures. The new alloy has the potential to lower manufacturing costs compared with most other standard alloys, while also creating a new market for the rare earth metal cerium.

First developed as a project within the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), a Department of Energy Innovation Hub, the motivation for the work was to find a demand for cerium, which is overproduced and generally redeposited back into mines as a part of regular mining operations. Creating a demand for cerium, which typically constitutes about 50 percent of the rare earth content, may sharply improve the economic viability of rare earth mining.

When combined with aluminum, researchers found the Aluminum/Cerium (ACE) alloy performed roughly two-to-three times better than standard aluminum alloys at higher temperatures, showed excellent castability, had higher corrosion resistance than standard aluminum, and perhaps most importantly, eliminated the need for heat treatment after casting, which could reduce manufacturing costs by up to 60 percent, saving energy and time.

The discovery could change mining economics and has the potential to transform how mines operate if the demand for the material goes up. It also could prove useful in making lightweight engines for light planes, automobiles and motorcycles, as well as for associated engine components such as turbochargers. It has been deployed for impeller blades in small-scale hydroelectric generators, as well as pistons for high-performance gasoline and diesel engines.

Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Development of self-crack-healing ceramics capable of quick full strength recovery Posted on 24 Feb 08:47

Development Of Self-Crack-Healing Ceramics Capable Of Quick Full Strength Recovery

Figure: (Left and middle) Self-healing process in ceramics, which completes in as little as one minute. (Right) A network of manganese oxide (green) facilitates self-healing.

—Bone-Healing Inspired Ceramics Shows Potential as an Aircraft Engine Material Capable of crack-healing during Flight—


National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
Yokohama National University (YNU)
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)

A NIMS-YNU research group discovered that self-healing ceramics undergo three healing stages analogous to bone healing processes: inflammation, repair and remodeling. Using clues provided by bone healing mechanisms, the group added a healing activator to crystalline grain boundaries, enabling the ceramic to fully heal cracks in as little as one minute at 1,000°C, the operating temperature of an aircraft engine.

("A Novel Design Approach for Self-Crack-Healing Structural Ceramics with 3D Networks of Healing Activator," Toshio Osada, Kiichi Kamoda, Masanori Mitome, Toru Hara, Taichi Abe, Yuki Tamagawa, Wataru Nakao & Takahito Ohmura; Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 17853 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-17942-6)


  1. A NIMS-YNU research group discovered that self-healing ceramics undergo three healing stages analogous to bone healing processes: inflammation, repair and remodeling. Using clues provided by bone healing mechanisms, the group added a healing activator to crystalline grain boundaries, enabling the ceramic to fully heal cracks in as little as one minute at 1,000°C, the operating temperature of an aircraft engine.
  2. Self-healing ceramics were discovered by an YNU research group in 1995. Lightweight and heat-resistant, they have been drawing global attention for their potential use as turbine materials in aircraft engines. However, their self-healing mechanisms had been poorly understood, and cracks only fully healed within a limited temperature range between 1,200 and 1,300°C. Therefore, identification of the mechanism and development of ceramics capable of rapid self-healing within a larger temperature range have long been sought.
  3. The present research group found that self-healing processes occur in three stages: when a ceramic cracks, oxygen enters though the crack and reacts with silicon carbide—a ceramic component—to form silicon dioxide (the inflammation stage). Alumina—a base ceramic material—and silicon dioxide then react to form a gap filling material, sealing the crack (the repair stage). Finally, the filler crystallizes to restore the original strength in the cracked part (the remodeling stage). In addition, based on the insight that the bodily fluid network in humans promotes the healing of damaged bones, the research group added a trace amount of a healing activator—manganese oxide—to alumina grain boundaries as a 3D network structure. As a result, newly developed ceramics healed cracks in as little as approximately one minute at 1,000°C, compared to conventional ceramics, which heal cracks in 1,000 hours at 1,000°C.
  4. Based on these results, the research group plans to develop innovative, heat-resistant ceramics which will never break even when cracked by selecting effective healing activator phases and thereby precisely manipulating the self-healing capability of ceramics.
  5. This project was carried out by a research team led by Senior Researcher Toshio Osada (Research Center for Structural Materials (RCSM), NIMS), Group Leader Toru Hara (RCSM, NIMS), Principal Researcher Taichi Abe (RCSM, NIMS), Takahito Ohmura (Deputy Director of the RCSM, NIMS), Chief Researcher Masanori Mitome (International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, NIMS) and Professor Wataru Nakao (Faculty of Engineering, YNU). This research was funded by the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) (No. JP24760093), the JST Advanced Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Program and the MEXT Nanotechnology Platform Japan program.
  6. This study was published in the online version of Scientific Reports at 10:00 am on December 19, 2017, GMT (7:00 pm on the 19th, Japan Time).

Iron-Corroding Bacteria Shown to Possess Enzymes Enabling Them to Extract Electrons from Extracellular Solids Posted on 24 Feb 08:39

—Discovery May Facilitate the Development of Environmental-Friendly Anti-biocorrosion Measures, Such as Enzyme-Targeted Chemicals—

(2018.02.17 Update)

National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)

A research team led by NIMS and RIKEN has discovered that bacteria responsible for iron corrosion in petroleum pipelines, etc. possess a group of enzymes enabling them to directly extract electrons from extracellular solids.

(“Multi-heme Cytochromes Provide a Pathway for Survival in Energy-limited Environments”; Xiao Deng, Naoshi Dohmae, Kenneth H. Nealson, Kazuhito Hashimoto, Akihiro Okamoto, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao5682, Link:


  1. A research team led by NIMS and RIKEN has discovered that sulfate-reducing bacteria responsible for anaerobic iron corrosion in petroleum pipelines, etc. possess a group of cell surface enzymes which enable them to directly extract electrons from extracellular solids. Current anticorrosion methods involve the use of antibacterial agents which kill a broad spectrum of bacteria. Their finding may facilitate the development of more efficient and environmental-friendly anti-biocorrosion methods; for example, the formulation of chemicals capable of effectively inhibiting the bacterial enzymes identified in this research.
  2. Anaerobic iron corrosion in petroleum pipelines cause severe industrial failures, such as oil leakage. It is therefore important to identify the causes of anaerobic corrosion and efficiently prevent them. Sulfate-reducing bacteria—which produce corrosive hydrogen sulfide by oxidizing soluble electron donors such as organics and hydrogen—have been considered as the cause of anaerobic corrosion. However, it remained unknown why corrosion continue proceeding even after iron surfaces were covered with the built-up iron sulfide crusts which protect iron surface from hydrogen sulfide. In 2004, several sulfate-reducing bacteria were isolated with iron as the sole energy source, and hypothesized to be capable of direct electron extraction from iron through electrically conductive of iron sulfide crusts, causing the persistent anaerobic corrosion. However, electron uptake agents such as surface redox enzymes have not been identified in these bacteria, leaving how they extract electrons from solids unknown.
  3. The research team carefully analyzed the cell membranes of a corrosive sulfate-reducing bacterium which grows with metal iron as the sole electron source, and discovered a group of membrane enzymes (i.e., outer membrane [OM] cytochromes, which are shown in the photo as the dark stains on the cell surface and nanowires). The team confirmed that electrons were removed from an indium-tin doped oxide electrode only when these enzymes were expressed. These results provide strong evidence supporting that this sulfate reducing bacterium can accelerate iron corrosion by direct electron uptake from iron. In addition, the team searched the ubiquity of the newly discovered enzymes in the protein databases and found that the amino acid sequences were widely conserved by various sulfur-metabolizing bacteria inhabiting deep-sea sediments, and distinct from those previously identified in iron-reducing bacteria, therefore likely formed a new clade of outer membrane cytochromes.
  4. In future studies, the team plans to develop anti-biocorrosion techniques capable of selectively and efficiently deactivating corrosive sulfate-reducing bacteria at low costs in an environmental-friendly manner by designing chemicals which inhibit the electron uptake of the identifed membrane enzymes. The results of this research also indicated the first time that bacteria inhabiting deep-sea sediment—a largely unknown ecosystem—may extract electrons directly from solid matters. These results may facilitate the development of techniques to culture unknown bacteria.
  5. This research project was carried out by a research team led by Akihiro Okamoto (Senior Researcher, Center for Green Research on Energy and Environmental Materials, NIMS), Xiao Deng (School of Engineering, University of Tokyo; also a recipient of the JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists), Kazuhito Hashimoto (NIMS President and Professor (formally affiliated with the School of Engineering of the University of Tokyo)) and Naoshi Dohmae (Unit Leader, Center for Sustainable Resource Science, RIKEN). This study was conducted as a part of a Specially Promoted Research project (Project No. 24000010) and Young Scientists (A) project (Project No. 17H04969), both funded by Grants-in-Aid for Specially Promoted Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
  6. This research was published in Science Advances at 2:00 pm on February 16, 2018, local time (4:00 am on the 17th, Japan Time).
  7. Iron-Corroding Bacteria Shown To Possess Enzymes Enabling Them To Extract Electrons From Extracellular Solids


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