Axial Research Institute’s special bearings help China Aerospace to reach a new height

On December 27, the Long March 5 Yao 3 carrier rocket was ignited at the Wenchang space launch site in China, completing the third launch mission, and China’s space industry reached a new height. The reporter learned from Luoyang Bearing Research Institute Co., Ltd. (Axle Research Institute for short) that during this launch, Changzheng V and its Practice 20 test satellite were equipped with several products developed by the company at key locations.
“The engine turbopump bearings of the Long March 5 rocket are all designed and manufactured by the Shaft Research Institute,” said Ma Xiaomei, senior engineer of the Special Bearing Business Department of the Shaft Research Institute.
The turbopump is a crucial component of a liquid fuel rocket engine. Its role is to send fuel and oxidant into the engine’s combustion chamber, similar to the heart of the human body. The bearings in the turbopump are the core components of the turbo pump’s support and rotation, whether the bearing can be used safely and is typically the critical factor for the rocket to be safely launched.
It is understood that the first stage of the Long March No. Five rocket core uses a massive thrust hydrogen-oxygen engine. At the same time, eight 120-ton liquid oxygen kerosene engines as the first-stage rocket boosters took on 90% of the total thrust of the rocket take-off. Since liquid hydrogen is minus 253 degrees Celsius and the temperature of dissolved oxygen is minus 183 degrees Celsius, the related parts have to face the challenge of the extremely severe cold environment while being subjected to the ultra-high temperature test of thousands of degrees Celsius or more.
Besides, due to the lack of grease addition, the turbopump bearings need to maintain high-speed operation while reducing friction as much as possible, so that the bearings must have extremely high reliability, which also creates considerable problems for related designs.
To meet the individual requirements of Changzheng No. 5, the Institute has conducted in-depth research and testing on bearing materials, bearing design, processing, and manufacturing technology, and bearing lubrication in many aspects, breaking through several key technologies, filling relevant domestic gaps, and finally developing applications The angular contact ball bearings, inner half second-half three-point contact ball bearings and deep groove ball bearing products in the Long March No. Five rocket engine turbopump ensured the successful completion of the launch mission.
The “passenger” transported by Long March 5 is of considerable significance to practice the 20th satellite. This satellite will be in orbit to verify the new-generation large-scale geosynchronous orbit satellite platform “Dongfanghong 5” independently developed by China. Of the most geosynchronous orbit satellites with the highest mass. This satellite also uses many products of the shaft research institute.
In typical operation, the satellite runs along a set orbit and encounters dramatic changes in ambient temperature. Ensure the use of equipment, the overall temperature of the moon can be adjusted through the water medium.
The temperature-controlled water-medium bearing provided by Axis Research is an essential component for satellite temperature control, and its service life is usually up to ten years or more.
As a test satellite of the “Dongfanghong No. 5” large satellite platform, Practice No. 20 undertakes essential communication test tasks. Compared with the communication satellites in the past, it needs to frequently control the microwave switch to switch the signal channel, to transmit the different signals received to the ground through various wavebands, and the number of conversions will increase from more than ten times a year to 100,000 times of the previous satellite The microwave switch bearing provided by the shaft research institute will effectively guarantee the completion of this function.
Besides, Axis Research Institute also provided momentum wheel bearings for attitude control, solar sailboards for satellite energy supply, etc.
In recent years, as the only national first-class comprehensive research unit in China’s bearing industry, the critical stand-alone and multiple bearing products developed by the Shaft Research Institute have successively contributed to the “Dongfanghong” series satellites, “Shenzhou” series crewed spacecraft, and “Chang’ e” exploration. Monthly Project and other “Republic First” projects. In the next step, the Institute of Axis Research will accelerate the transformation and upgrading of the industry, continue to make special bearings efforts, and help the development of China’s aerospace industry to a new level.

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