Materials for Sliding Contact Bearing

In an earlier post, we have discussed the desirable properties of the bearing material they should possess.
In this post, we are going to discuss the materials of the sliding contact bearing with their advantages, drawbacks along with applications.
Commonly used materials for sliding contact bearings are :
  1. Babbits (white metals)
  2. Bronze
  3. Aluminum alloys
  4. Copper-lead alloy
  5. Cast iron
  6. Sintered metal or porous metal
  7. Non-metallic materials.
Here we will see the composition of each material with its benefits, drawbacks, and applications.

Babbits (white metals)

Composition

In this, there are two types. One is Lead-based Babbit and the other is Tin-base babbit.

Lead-Base Babbit: Pb-74%, Sn-10%, Sb-15%, Others-1%
Tin-Base Babbit : Pb-87%, Sn-86%, Sb-7%, Cu-6%

Advantages

  1. They have excellent bondability, embeddability, and conformability.
  2. They are good corrosion-resistant.

Limitations

Low compressive and fatigue strength at temperatures above 80 degrees.

Applications

Bearings with Babbit material are used in light-duty applications.

Bronze

Composition

In this also there are two types. One is gunmetal and the other is phosphor bronze.

Gunmetal : Cu-87%, Sn-10%, Zn-2%, Ni-1%
Phosphor Bronze: Cu-90%, Sn-10%

Advantages

  1. Bronze material is cheaper as compared with the babbits.
  2. These are stronger and can withstand higher pressures.

Limitations

Poor conformability and has a tendency to stick the journal surface at high temperatures.

Applications

Bronze is used in applications where temperature, load, speed, etc are considered to be moderate.

Aluminium Alloy

Composition

Al-89.5%, Sn-6.5%, Si-2.5%, Cu-1%, Ni-0.5%

Advantages

They have high thermal conductivity and fatigue strength.

Limitations

They have poor embeddability.

Applications

As this material is having high thermal conductivity, they are used where an adequate amount of lubricant is not provided.

Copper-Lead Alloy

Composition

Cu-60 to 75%, Pb-25 to 40%

Advantages

They have high compressive as well as fatigue strength and can withstand higher temperatures.

Limitations

Embeddability is average and conformability is very poor.

Applications

These materials are used where temperature, speed, and load are higher.

Cast Iron

Composition:

C.I.

Advantages

They have higher compressive strength.

Limitations

They have poor conformability and embeddability.

Applications

Light duty applications are preferred for C.I. material.

Sintered Metal

Composition

Copper-based and Iron-based sintered bearings.

Advantages

As the bearing material is porous, it can absorb 15-30% of lubricating oil.

Limitations

Fatigue strength is poor.

Applications

They are used in machine tools and automobile applications.

Non-metals

A large number of non-metallic materials are used as bearing material. Here we are discussing only important materials used for bearings.

Rubber

Advantages

They have an excellent ability to absorb shocks. Also, they have high embeddability and conformability.

Limitations

They have poor strength and cannot withstand higher temperatures.

Applications

Used in centrifugal pumps, deep-well pumps, and ships.

Plastics

Advantages :

They are high wear-resistant and have a low coefficient of friction. Also, they are having low cost and have a high impact strength.

Limitations

They have poor thermal conductivity and hence can’t be used at temperatures above 90 degrees.

Applications

Used in marine applications.

Carbon Graphite

Advantages

They can withstand higher temperatures up to 650 degrees. This material is self-lubricating, chemically inert.

Applications

Carbon graphite is used in applications where temperatures are too high to permit the use of lubricated bearings. Also used in applications where the use of lubricant is prohibited.

Teflon

Advantages

This material can operate without lubricant. They have a low coefficient of friction and are hard.

Limitations

They have poor strength, poor thermal conductivity, and a high coefficient of thermal expansion.

Applications

They are used in light-duty applications.

4 thoughts on “Materials for Sliding Contact Bearing”

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