Frequently Asked Questions

What is Babbitt?

Babbitt is a variety of metal alloys used for the bearing surfaces in plain bearings. These alloys are relatively soft, but contain small, harder metal crystals that support the bearing surface loads. The softer metal is designed to erode evenly and predictably with age.

What are the benefits of solid aluminum bearings?

  • Weight reduction – Aluminum weighs less than bronze, iron and steel.
  • Cost reduction – Less machining, and less material cost
  • Corrosion resistance – Aluminum is highly resistant to the corrosive agents found in most lubricants
  • Shock load resistance
  • High-speed capability
  • High fatigue strength

Which markets are using aluminum alloy (instead of lead and cadmium)?

  • Automotive
  • Transportation
  • Packaging Equipment
  • Oil Exploration Equipment
  • Construction Equipment
  • Mining Equipment

Which machine components are suitable for aluminum alloys?

  • Linear guides
  • Hydraulic pump bushings
  • Compressors
  • Track rolls
  • Presses
  • Industrial fans and blowers
  • Internal combustion engines
  • Seals

Which bronze alloys are typically used?

  • Leaded bronze – Superior shaft protection with minimal power loss. Alloys include C93200, C93600, C93700, and C94100.
  • Aluminum bronze – Good wear, especially with oscillating loads and severe environments. Alloys include C95400, C95500, C95520.
  • Tin Bronze – High strength under heavy loads. Alloys typically include C90300, C90500, and C86300 (manganese bronze).
  • Zinc-Aluminum – Low temperature environments, especially replacing bronze. Alloys include ZA-12 and ZA-27.

Which machine components are usually suitable for bronze alloys?

Bronze components

  • Industrial machinery
  • Mining
  • Automotive
  • Pumps
  • Rod ends
  • Off-highway railroad journals
  • Process equipment
  • Drilling equipment

Aluminum bronze

  • Bushings
  • Aircraft landing gear
  • Naval engine components
  • Propellers
  • Anti-corrosive applications

Manganese bronze

  • Gears
  • Large valve stems
  • Slow speed heavy load bearings
  • Hydraulic cylinder parts

Sintered bronze

  • Printers
  • Office equipment
  • Small motors
  • Appliances
  • Leaded bronze for applications that encounter higher wear
  • Bearings
  • Sockets
  • Slides, nuts
  • Chemical applications

What are lubrication rings?

Mounted directly onto the rotating shaft and next to the plain bearing, a lubrication ring draws lubricant up from a reservoir or feed system and transfers the oil onto the shaft and bearing. Lubrication rings are most commonly used in bearing applications with relatively low side loads.

Lubrication rings are either solid (made in a single piece), or split (two pieces joined together). Rings with a trapezoidal cross section maximize oil delivery.

Wheeler manufactures and stocks thousands of standard EOM rings, and design custom rings for specific applications. Some of our EOM customers include General electric, Westinghouse, Siemens and Baldor.

How to select lubrication rings?

If you must replace worn lubrication rings, using EOM parts made to EOM specifications is recommended. Wheeler stock thousands of replacements. If you have been experiencing problems related to lubrication rings failing prematurely, please contact Wheeler Industries to consult with one of our engineers.

Is computer modeling of bearings reliable?

Yes. Several software programs help engineers predict how a bearing design will perform under certain specific conditions. Yet, it takes engineers with many years of bearing design experience to create the bearing models, simulate their use, interpret the results, and apply what is learned to the design. Wheeler Industries has the engineering team and tools needed to guarantee bearing designs that are optimized for the customer’s specific requirements.

Why do I need a bearing engineering partner?

Because no engineer can know it all. An experienced bearing designer and manufacturer can save you a lot of needless trial and error, saving you both time and money. Software models, prototyping, testing and evaluation will help you optimize your design, and will free your own staff to solve other problems.