Monday, January 2, 2023

Which Bronze Alloy Is Commonly Used As A Bearing Alloy?


Bearings are essential for maintaining proper movement in rotating machinery. Whether it be a ball or roller bearing, or just a simple casing, bearings keep moving parts from going off track while also reducing the friction and wear and tear. Despite their often small size, maintaining and regularly replacing bearings as they get worn out is an effective way to preserve machinery.

Whilere bearings are made from many different metals, one of the most popular bearing alloy metals is bronze. Bronze alloys are highly affordable, while also having the key characteristics required to properly improve and maintain performance in machine bearing support. Unsure which bronze alloy is the best fit for your needs?

Here are some of the key traits and characteristics of the most popular bronze bearing alloys:

The most common bearing alloy: Leaded Bronze

Leaded bronze bearings are one of the most common bronze alloys used for machine bearings. Typically, a small amount of tin, zinc, or nickel is mixed in with the bronze and copper base. The result is that leaded bronze alloy bearings have greater strength, fatigue resistance, load capacity, and overall longevity compared to ordinary copper and bronze alloy bearings. 

Due to these properties, leaded bronze alloy bearings are very popular in many common household and ordinary business tools and machines. However, leaded bronze isn’t a good fit for very heavy loads, high temperature environments, or highly corrosive environments. For machines in more extreme environments, consider one of these other bronze alloy alternatives.

A great high pressure bearing alloy: Aluminum Bronze

Aluminum bronze is a very popular option for machines that need to maximize bearing strength under high pressure or in heavy load situations. As a result, aluminum bronze bearings are very popular for larvae machines, including expectation equipment, aircraft parts, ship propellers, and similar metal equipment.

Aluminum bronze is also a general upgrade over leaded bronze when it comes to general corrosion resistance and structural resistance at high temperatures. Due to the metal composition, aluminum bronze bearings can be very expensive, and their extreme rigidity can make them a poor fit for constantly moving or rotating parts. Instead, the next best option to consider would be manganese bronze.

Top bearing alloy for high speed movement: Manganese Bronze

Manganese bronze alloy bearings are some of the best bearings for supporting constantly moving machine components. As such, manganese bronze is a popular bearing alloy for gears, piston heads, cams, and key components in bikes, cars, and other transportation vehicles. Due to the great durability and long lasting nature of manganese, it is also seen as a great in-between metal bearing alloy when neither lead bronze nor aluminum bronze are a good fit.

The one major note when it comes to relying on manganese bronze bearings is that they require greasing and lubrication more than the average bronze alloy bearing. As a result, manganese bronze isn’t a good fit for machines where bearings are hard to reach and lubricate, or for high water environments. Instead, you’ll want to consider phosphor bronze alloys instead.

High corrosion resistance bearing alloy: Phosphor Bronze

Phosphor bronze bearings fall in and out of popularity due to the smaller supply of phosphor bronze alloy metal, but it is one of the best bronze alloy options for wet and corrosive chemical environments. A mixture of bronze, tin, copper, and phosphorus, the bronze alloy produces a bearing that is also resilient, with great wear and fatigue resistance.

In terms of application, phosphor bronze alloys are also a great option for highly electrical machine equipment. Due to the materials required to manufacture, just be aware that phosphor bronze bearings can greatly range in price and availability. Depending on the kind of bearing, they often take more time to manufacture and deliver compared to other bronze alloy bearings.

Need bronze bearings? Check out Atlas Bronze

Whether you need a lead, aluminum, manganese, phosphor, or some other kind of bronze alloy bearing, you can find what you need here at Atlas Bronze. Founded in 1994, we have since grown our company to become one of the lead distributors in bronze, copper, brass, iron, and other metalworking and manufacturing producers in the United States.

Need to get in touch with a metalworking expert to help you find the products you need? Contact us by phone or email today and reach out to our team. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about bronze alloy bearings, and help you find the best metalworking tools and parts you need at low, affordable prices you won’t find anywhere else.

For all things metalworking and manufacturing, make sure you partner with us here at Atlas Bronze.