Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Which Flange Bearing Is the Best?


The flange bearing is a specialized type of bearing that has a lip on one side. Like all bearings, a flange

bearing functions to reduce friction between two parts. Bearings come in a wide range of sizes, shapes,

and materials and they may bear force, load, or a combination of the two, but the flange bearing is one

of the most frequently used varieties.

What Is a Flange Bearing?

A flange bearing is built differently than other bearings because one end is straight, while the other has a lip (or flange). 

Also known as a flanged bushing, a flange bearing provides more stability in an application. The flanged side secures the bearing while it’s being used, preventing it from falling, shifting, or slipping. This is critical in applications that involve axial push or load and when shafts are perpendicular to the mounting surface of the bearing. Without the flange end, an application would quickly malfunction because the bearing would slip out of position.

Flanged bearings also serve to minimize shaft flexing, vibration, and axial overload when heavy loads or high speeds are involved. Because a flange bearing is secured in place, it has the ability to withstand high temperatures that cause thermal expansion, which would compromise other types of bearings.

Determining the Best Types of Flange Bearings

Which flange bearing is best? There’s really no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best flange bearings are the ones that meet the needs of your application.

Although all flange bearings are similar in design, with flanges on one end, the similarities end there. There are several types of flange bearings, starting with the number of bolts needed to secure them in place:

  • Two-Bolt Flange Bearings are best used for machinery with intermediate shaft speeds and load sizes. They have a wing or diamond shape.

  • Three-Bolt Flange Bearings are the bearing of choice for industrial, agricultural, and automotive applications with light-to-medium loads. The flange-end is usually circular. 

  • Four-Bolt Flange Bearings have a great deal of stability, making them ideal for applications with rotating or linear movements or when a mounting surface is perpendicular to the shaft. They are square or circular in shape.

Beyond the bolt number and configuration, flange bearings can be differentiated by the materials used to make them. Oil-impregnated flange bearings release lubrication when under pressure and reabsorb it once the pressure is released, which is why they’re the preferred choice for applications that must be maintenance-free. You might find flange bearings mounted in thermoplastic, stainless steel, or cast iron housing. Each of these materials is suitable for different types of surfaces, machinery, and applications.

We offer a wide range of flange bronze bearings, including plain, graphite-plugged, and oil or grease grooved.

Learn More About Types of Flange Bearings

To find out more about Atlas Bronze flange bronze bearings, contact us at 1-800-478-0887 to speak to one of our representatives about our options. Our sales team has the industry knowledge to help you through the process of choosing the best flange bearings for your application.

The Differences Between Copper and Bronze

There’s quite a bit of overlap in the qualities and uses of copper and bronze, but there are also some

significant differences you should be aware of if you’re choosing between the two metals for your

application. What’s the difference between copper and bronze? Which one is the best choice for

your needs? We answer these questions below.

Understanding Copper

Copper is one of the earliest metals used by human populations. Best known for its reddish hue, copper is the term used for both pure copper and any copper alloy that has at least a 99.3 percent copper content. You’ll find copper in sculptures, architecture, and fixtures, but behind the scenes, it’s also commonly used for heating and electrical applications because of its superior conductivity.

There are other reasons to choose copper for your application besides conductivity, though. Copper is resistant to corrosion and valued for its strength. It’s highly formable, which is likely why it was such a widely used material by early humans. Copper is antimicrobial, making it suitable for many healthcare and medical uses. Architects, sculptors, and other artists appreciate copper because it can be given different lusters and textures when it’s buffed and polished.

Understanding Bronze

Bronze is a metal alloy that is made mostly with copper, but not enough to be considered a copper alloy. In addition to copper, other metals like iron, zinc, and tin are added to impart different qualities on the resulting metal. Like copper, bronze is often used in statues, sculpture, and architecture. Its industrial uses include pump parts, bearings, gears, and valves because bronze is valued for its resistance to wear and low friction. Many musical instruments are also made with bronze.

Bronze cast alloys, like those available from Atlas Bronze, are manufactured in three different ways: sand casting, centrifugal casting, and continuous casting. Different casting methods are used for different types of products and parts.

Copper vs. Bronze: What Makes Them Different?

Here are some of the notable qualities of copper and bronze, and differences between the two metals.

  • Bronze is a dull gold in color, while copper is more of a reddish-orange.

  • Copper is more commonly used in wiring and pipes, while bronze is a popular choice for bushings and bearings.

  • Bronze alloys are resistant to corrosion and known for their strength, while copper is malleable and easily soldered.

  • Copper can be an alloy and also a natural element, while bronze is always an alloy.

  • Bronze has low friction, which makes it an excellent choice for moving parts.

  • Copper has antimicrobial properties, which makes it ideal for high-touch surfaces and healthcare settings.

Learn More About Atlas Bronze Products

To learn more about ordering high-quality bronze products from Atlas Bronze, contact us at 1-800-478-0887. Our sales team offers unmatched customer support and industry knowledge, and we’re committed to working together with you to meet your needs. If you’re not sure whether you need bronze or a copper alloy for your application, we can listen to your requirements and suggest the best option for you.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Should I Choose Bronze or Copper for My Application?

When it’s time to choose a material for your application, there are a lot of factors to consider. Do you need a material that is conductive? One that is resistant to corrosion or can be easily worked? Taking a look at your own needs is the first step in the process; the next step involves understanding the metals you’re considering and examining their qualities.

Bronze vs. Copper: What’s the Difference?

It’s common for people to use the words bronze and copper to refer to the same type of metal, but technically speaking, there’s a difference.

Copper can be a pure metal that is mined from the earth, or it can refer to a copper alloy that has a copper content of 99.3 percent. Either way, copper is popular for a number of different applications and it was one of the first metals used by early humans, as evidenced by the Copper Age that began in the middle of the 5th millennium BC.

Bronze is a metal alloy, which means it’s always made from a combination of metals—there’s no such thing as pure bronze. Bronze is primarily made with copper, then other metals are added to impart different qualities on the resulting alloy. Some common metals used to make bronze are iron, zinc, and tin. Like copper, bronze is a metal that has been used since ancient times and the transition from copper tools to bronze is marked by the Bronze Age.

Properties of Bronze vs. Copper

Since bronze contains a large amount of copper, you might think it follows that bronze and copper have very similar properties, but slight changes in formulations can make a big difference in their qualities and characteristics.

Why Use Copper

Copper is commonly used in heating and electrical applications because it has exceptional conductivity. It’s also widely used in artwork, fixtures, and architecture because of its captivating reddish hue. The simple act of polishing and buffing copper can create a wide array of textures and lusters.

Copper has been in the news recently thanks to its antimicrobial properties, making it an increasingly popular material for everything from phone cases to face mask filters. Copper is also strong and resistant to corrosion. If you need a material that is formable, copper can be soldered, brazed, and welded.

Why Use Bronze

Like copper, bronze is a commonly used material for sculptures, statues, and other artwork, but its resistance to wear and low friction makes it a workhorse when it comes to industrial applications. You’ll find bronze in bearings, valves, pump parts, and gears. Many musical instruments are also made with bronze. If you’re looking for a metal that is hard and durable, bronze is a solid choice.

Learn More About Atlas Bronze

Of course, the best way to choose the right material for your application is to consult with one of our knowledgeable team members at Atlas Bronze. Contact us at 1-800-478-0887 and we’ll work together with you to determine whether bronze or copper is best for your purposes. If you’re not sure where to start, we can get you on the right track and ensure a successful project.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

What Is the Difference Between Bushings and Bearings?

If you’re new to the manufacturing industry, you may be confused about the difference between bushings and bearings. Some people say they’re the same. Others say they’re different. Which is it? They can’t be both! Below, we’ll demystify some of the confusion surrounding these parts.
When Bearings and Bushings Are the Same

In the automotive industry, the terms bushing and bearing are often used interchangeably, so if you’re coming to manufacturing with some background knowledge on cars, it’s easy to see why you’d be confused. Bearings (or bushings, as it were) are used in gearboxes, auto transmissions, and shock systems in vehicles.

When Bushings Are Bearings

You know how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares? This is how it works with bearings and bushings too—at least outside of the automotive industry. All bushings are bearings, but not all bearings are bushings.

Bushings are also known as sleeve bearings because they come in a cylindrical (or sleeve) shape that enables two components or surfaces to move with a sliding motion. You might also see them referred to as plain bearings. These bushings can be straight up-and-down cylinders, which are used for radial loads, or they may be flanged, which makes them suitable for radial and axial loads. Then, there are thrust washers, which are bushings that can withstand applications that involve thrust forces with moderate velocities.

When Bearings Aren’t Bushings

We know that all bushings are bearings, but what kind of bearing isn’t a bushing?

The easiest way to distinguish the two is to remember that a bushing is always a single part—a cylinder with or without a flange—while any bearing that has multiple components is not a bushing. Ball bearings, for example, are not bushings because they have several parts, including a raceway and rolling elements. In other words, the difference between bushings and bearings in some instances is that bearings are more complex. A simple sleeve bearing is a bushing, but a more complicated bearing is not.

What Else You Should Know About Bushings

We categorize bushings into sleeve bushings, flange bushings, and thrust washers, but they can be further categorized by type of lubrication.

Self-lubricating bushings are used in applications where regular lubrication is not possible or difficult. These bushings have small pores in them that are impregnated with lubricant. This lubricant is released when the bushings are in use, then reabsorbed when they are at rest, greatly reducing the need for maintenance. Graphite-plugged bushings are one example of a self-lubricating bushing.

Plain bushings can only be used in applications where there is already a system in place for lubrication or when there is sufficient staff to perform ongoing lubrication and maintenance. These are more economical than self-lubricating bushings, but once you factor in the added labor costs, self-lubricating bushings usually come out ahead in the long-term.

Learn More About the Difference Between Bushings and Bearings

If you’re still not sure whether you need a bushing or bearing for your application, our sales team is happy to help. Atlas Bronze experts are always available to explain all of our different options and listen to your needs in order to determine the right fit for you. Contact us at 1-800-478-0887 to speak with one of our experts and get started.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

What Are the Different Types of Bushings?


Bushings are an important component in many pieces of industrial machinery and consumer products, as they allow two moving parts to function without causing damaging friction. Sometimes also known as bearings, there are several different types of bushings to choose from and selecting the correct variety means understanding how they differ, as well as knowing the needs of your application.

Types of Bushings

Bushings can be classified by both form and lubrication needs. When choosing bushings for your application, you’ll need to first choose the type, then decide upon the lubrication requirements.

At Atlas Bronze, we manufacture the following types of bronze bushings:

Sleeve Bushings

As their name suggests, these bushings come in a cylindrical form that looks like a sleeve. They allow components to slide without friction. If your application requires sleeve bushings, it’s important to note that it must either have a system that lubricates the bushing or, if not, the sleeve bushings you purchase will need to be self-lubricating.

Flange Bushings

Flange bushings are similar to sleeve bushings in form, with the primary difference being that one or both sides have a flange, or lip, to hold the bushing securely in place. Because these bushings are fixed to a surface, they can withstand thermal expansion and support heavy loads at high speeds.

Thrust Washers

Thrust washers are bushings that are designed to withstand applications that have thrust forces with moderate velocities.

Lubrication Needs

Once you know the type of bushing your application needs, you’ll have to determine whether self-lubrication is necessary. Here’s the difference between plain and self-lubricating bushings:

Self-Lubricating Bushings

When regular lubrication is not possible or desirable, self-lubricating bushings are a must. These bushings are manufactured with very small pores or grooves that are impregnated with lubricant. When in use, the bushing releases the lubricant; when at rest, the lubricant is reabsorbed. This allows machinery to run with very little maintenance.

We offer graphite-plugged bushings, which are ideal for high temperature and heavy load applications. They are resistant to corrosion and operate well in even hostile environments. Another self-lubricating bushing option is the oil and grease groove bronze bushing. This type of bushing has grooves incorporated into the design; we’ll add the lubricant of your choice during the manufacturing process.

Plain Bushings

Plain bushings are the most economical option, but you’ll need to ensure that your application has a system for lubrication or that your business has the available labor to allow staff to lubricate the machinery manually when needed. A plain bushing can also be oil-grooved or graphited if you have special requirements that can’t be met by one of our stock self-lubricating bushing options.

Learn More About the Types of Bushings

Do you need bushings for your application? Are you unsure about which type you need? Our team of engineering and manufacturing experts is here to help. Contact Atlas Bronze at 1-800-478-0887 today to speak to a member of our team to learn more about the different types of bushings we offer.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Antibacterial Effects of Brass


If you read the headline of this post and your reaction was something along the lines of, “What?! Is brass antibacterial? No way!”, you’re not alone. Most people have no idea that many metals have antimicrobial properties, but it’s true—and it’s not just brass. Two of the other metals we work with at Atlas Bronze, bronze and copper, are also antibacterial, as is silver and gold. 

Copper: The Key to Brass’s Antibacterial Effect

No, brass isn’t treated with an antibiotic solution or chemical. The reason why brass is antibacterial is because it contains copper.

Copper is actually antimicrobial, which is even better than antibacterial—it means it kills not only bacteria, but also viruses and fungi. Although brass is an alloy that can have different compositions depending on its use, it always contains more copper than any other element, which is why it has the same antimicrobial effect.

Brass has been shown to kill microbes in two hours or less after contact, including 99.9 percent of bacteria. A study that researched the efficacy of copper alloys in reducing the transmission of infectious microbes in a hospital setting found that patient infection rates in intensive care units can be reduced by up to 58 percent and subsequent studies have resulted in similar findings.

Even before being backed up by scientific research, copper and its alloys were understood to have medicinal properties for thousands of years. In ancient times, copper was used to transport water because its quality was better than when other materials were used. We still don’t quite understand what makes copper antimicrobial (although we do have some guesses), but the phenomenon is called the oligodynamic effect.

How Brass Can Be Used to Reduce the Spread of Infection

You might not need your brass bushings to be antibacterial, but ever since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved copper alloys to be marketed as antimicrobial materials, there has been a proliferation of consumer products taking advantage of the natural antimicrobial effects of brass, bronze, and copper. Mobile phone cases, door openers, face masks, and even wallets now boast the addition of copper alloys to reduce the spread of infection.

In addition to consumer goods, copper alloys like brass are being used in businesses and public buildings to limit the spread of harmful pathogens. Hospitals and healthcare facilities, schools, offices, and public transportation providers are using brass for fixtures, handles, knobs, and other high-touch surfaces.

Of course, it’s important to note that not all pathogens are spread through touch—while brass and copper alloys can prevent those diseases that do spread this way, they’re not going to help with infections that are primarily transmitted through inhaling infected aerosols and respiratory droplets. In addition, a pathogen must be in contact with copper for a certain amount of time before being killed—the antibacterial effect of brass is not instantaneous. That said, when used with other infection control measures, copper alloys like brass can play an important role in reducing disease transmission.

Learn More About Antibacterial Brass

If you’d like to learn more about how your business can take advantage of the antibacterial effects of brass, contact Atlas Bronze at 1-800-478-0887 to speak with one of our experts.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Everyday Items Made of Brass


Brass is one of the most widely used metal alloys today thanks to its versatility. Your home is likely full of brass, as is your workplace. It’s in the zipper on your jeans and inside your jewelry box too. Why is brass so ubiquitous? What are some common items made of brass? Read on to learn more.

The Basics of Brass

Brass is a metal alloy, which means it can’t be mined from the earth—it must be manufactured from other metals. The most basic composition of brass is copper and zinc. Adjust the ratios of the two and you alter the properties of the resulting brass. Introduce other metals to the mix and you can create brass in a wide range of colors with an array of characteristics making it suited to virtually any application.

Brass is naturally antibacterial and it has properties that make it both easy to form and strong after forming. With these qualities, it’s easy to see why brass is such a popular choice for manufacturers and consumers alike.

What Is Made of Brass?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, brass is everywhere. Here are some everyday items made of brass:

Nails, Screws, Bushings, Hinges, and Other Parts

One of the reasons brass is everywhere is because it’s a small component of many larger items. The screws that hold together your furniture might be made of brass and brass bushings could be in the engine of your car. Whenever you open or close the doors of your home, it’s likely brass hinges that secure them to the door frame.

Knobs and Decorative Hardware

Speaking of doors—door knobs, drawer pulls, hooks, and other decorative hardware throughout your home might also be made from brass. Because brass can be manufactured in a wide range of colors, it’s an alloy that easily adapts to current design trends, from the shiny yellow-gold doorknobs of the 80s to today’s more understated matte finishes.

Clothing and Jewelry

Zippers on pants, purses, and other clothing items are often made of brass, as are the buttons and rivets on your jeans. Costume jewelry—those inexpensive pieces bought for style and not value—is made commonly made with brass as well. 


Kitchen and bathroom faucets can be made with brass, but so can the pipes, valves, and fittings in your plumbing. Brass is quite resistant to corrosion which is why it’s a common choice for plumbing fixtures.


You can’t go wrong with a classic brass bed frame, but these days you’ll also find brass legs on coffee tables, console tables, sofas, and chairs.

Light Fixtures

Brass light fixtures have surged in popularity in recent years, being embraced by both the mid-century modern minimalist and the boho-chic maximalist. Accent lighting is commonly made with brass too.

Musical Instruments

Brass has unique acoustic properties that make it well-suited for musical instruments. The cymbals on a drum, bells, and—naturally—brass instruments are all made with brass. 

Learn More About Brass

Is brass right for your application? Our brass experts are here to answer this and any other questions you might have. Contact us today at 1-800-478-0887 to learn more.