Wednesday, February 15, 2023

How To Tell If A Bronze Bearing Is Worn


Many different metals are used to make modern machine equipment, but one of the most popular options for the modern world is bronze. Bronze is affordable and easier to find and work with compared to many metals, while also providing great resilience for heavy loads, high temperatures, and long term corrosion. As a result, many metalworking manufacturers and machines use bronze as a base alloy for bearings.

Nothing will last forever, and overtime  bronze bearings will wear out. Do you find your bronze bearings wear out more quickly than expected? Unsure when it’s time to replace your bronze bearings, or don’t know why you should? Is your bronze bearing worn? Here are the key things you should know when it comes to maintaining and replacing worn out bronze bearings.

Why it is vital to maintain bronze bearings

Bearings serve an essential role in machine and metalworking design. It is a component that restricts the movement of moving parts, ensuring that they don’t get dislodged during use. Furthermore, they also reduce friction between parts, increasing the longevity of machines and protecting sensitive or key components, even at extremely high temperatures or speeds.

There are many different types of bearings, including many different types of bronze bearings, but they all serve similar purposes of machine support. The end result is usually the same when a bearing is missing or fails to perform its purpose. Moving parts can get dislodged from mechanical systems, and the increased fiction will wear down components more quickly. Failing to maintain and replace bronze bearings will lead to greater machine failure with time.

As a result, maintaining bearings is important to get the most use and value of essential machine equipment.


What causes bronze bearings to get worn out and prevention

Ordinary wear and tear is often the main reason why bronze bearings get worn out. Bearings are designed specifically to reduce the pressure, strain, and friction that other essential machine components experience during operation. As a result, components like bronze bearings are often what gets worn out the fastest on machines, and depending on how often you operate key machinery is a part you will have to regularly switch out.

A few tips to prevent accelerated wear and tear on your bronze bearings include:

  • Pick the right bronze alloy. There are many bronze alloy bearings to choose from. Different alloys have different characteristics that make them better suited for certain types of machines and environments. Make sure you carefully match the right alloy for your intended machine use.
  • Choose the right bearing size. Picking a bearing that is too big for intended use will cause additional friction and even machine jamming. Picking a bearing that is too small quickly accelerates the wear and tear on the bearing, or even causes machine failure. Carefully get your bearings sized properly before installing them in machines.
  • Regularly lubricate bronze alloys. Many bronze alloy bearings require lubrication to maintain proper machine performance. Failure to lubricate will accelerate how fast your bronze bearing gets worn out, and can also lead to improper machine performance. Be careful to avoid over lubrication, which can cause accelerated corrosion and jamming.

Signs of worn out bronze bearings

There are several different signs to look out for that may indicate it is time to replace your worn out bronze bearing. The top symptoms and indicators include:

  • Squealing, squeaking, or unusually sounding equipment during use
  • Smoking, burning, or otherwise hot metal during machine operation
  • Needing to constantly correct misalignment, especially after a short period of use
  • Unusual, uneven, or accelerated wear and tear on metal surfaces
  • Shafts, bearings, and bushings that feel unusual when you touch them
  • Metal components that no longer hold grease, lubrication, or liquid as well as the past
  • Machines that do not perform at their usual level or fail to perform at all

If you experience any of the above issues, it is highly recommended that you check out the bronze bearings in the affected areas. Also, take the time to keep careful records of when parts were last installed, replaced, and serviced, especially for vital and expensive machinery. Doing so can help you monitor when it’s time to examine and replace bearings and other machine components as they near the end of their expected service life.