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.