Journal Bearings for All Needs

Wheeler Industries offers the widest selection of bearing products including:

Babbitt-Lined Bearings

Wheeler Industries manufactures exceptionally high-quality centrifugally spun Babbitt bearings up to 30” OD. We are one of a few fluid film bearing manufactures who can optimize our bearings to meet our customer’s operating conditions using computerized Finite Element Analysis.

Benefits include:

  • Excellent fatigue resistance
  • Greater load-carrying capacity
  • Minimal vibration
  • Predictable and gradual wear

Babbitts, or white metals, are soft, lubricious alloys used as bearing surfaces in journal bearings. When a thin layer of babbitt is cast onto a stronger backing material such as, steel, bronze or cast iron, the resulting bimetal bearing material has excellent fatigue resistance.

Bearings with thin babbitt linings also provide outstanding load carrying capacity well in excess of 1,000 psi. Babbitt linings provide an excellent wetting surface that promotes smooth, laminar oil flow throughout the bearing minimizing vibration. The unique ability of babbitt metals to embed debris particles in their surface protects the shaft and provides longer life of the bearing and the journal.

Babbitt bearings, and to a lesser extent all sleeve bearing materials, exhibit predictable and gradual wear. With or without careful monitoring, babbitt bearings will prevent the catastrophic failure associated with rolling element bearings. The most important function of the bearing is its role as the wear component that protects the shaft and other components in the rotating equipment. Consequently, babbitt-lined bearings are used extensively in large motors, high-speed compressors, turbines, generators, internal combustion engines and a variety of critical applications.

If your application depends on high-quality journal bearings, you can rely on Wheeler Industries for success. Our babbitt bearings and babbitting services are backed by close to a century of experience. That means you get consistent quality every time.

Wheeler has extensive experience in the design and manufacture of all types of babbitted bearings, including:

  • Cylindrical bores
  • Thin-walled, interchangeable halves
  • Elliptical bores
  • Tri-lobed and multi-lobed designs
  • Tilting pads bearings

Aluminum Alloy Bearings

Solid aluminum bearings can solve a number of issues associated with lead-bronze and babbitted bearings including cost, weight, and environmental compliance. Wheeler Industries casts a variety of aluminum alloys specially formulated to replace many bi-metal bearings. Advantages include:

  • Weigh 67% less than copper-based alloys, but with superior fatigue strength
  • Material costs 75% less than traditional bearings
  • Withstands high shock loads and operates at high speeds.
  • Offers better mechanical compatibility with steel
  • Is suitable for food processing and other sensitive industries
  • Resists corrosive agents in lubricants
  • Provides lead-free RoHS compliance

Certain markets that are leading the way with solid aluminum bearings because of the cost, performance and compliance benefits include:

  • Automotive
  • Transportation
  • Packaging
  • Oil prospecting equipment
  • Construction
  • Applications


Wheeler Industries designs and builds highly-engineered journal bearing seals to fit any application. Whether you need an OEM replacement, or custom designed labyrinth profile, Wheeler has the design expertise and modeling tools to meet your bearing seal requirements.

Thrust Bearings

Wheeler Industries designs and manufactures solid thrust bearings suitable for a very wide range of loads and speeds. In applications with limited axial space we also provide combination thrust/journal designs. And, our tilting pad thrust bearings are specially engineered to reduce power loss, oil flow and pad temperatures, providing the most reliable and efficient machine performance. Patented design features optimize performance and address industry-wide challenges such as axial vibration.

Tapered, Taper-Land, Step-Land, Compound taper

These thrust bearings are designed to accommodate increasingly heavier, mainly axial, loads. The most complex solid thrust bearing is the taper-land type. The thrust surface is slightly angled in the direction of rotation such that a wedge is formed between the thrust surface and the runner (rotating surface). The wedge-shaped area fills with oil, and the rotation actually pressurizes the oil, causing the runner to want to lift. This lifting force causes the two surfaces to not fully contact one another, thus minimizing contact friction.

High-speed Bearings

Let Wheeler Industries provide solutions to your high-speed bearing performance problems. Whether you are experiencing oil whirl, oil whip, or dry whip, we have several bearing technologies such as elliptical bore, multi-lobed bores, and our patented NT tilting pad bearing to keep your high-speed bearings running smoother, longer and cooler. For your more difficult applications our patented and industry-leading Rotor Dynamic Modeling Software can ensure an optimal bearing design.

Lobed, Multi-lobed, Elliptical Bearings

Elliptical and lobed bearings significantly reduce vibration and extend bearing life by inhibiting oil whirl occurring in high speed and light load applications. They are particularly suited for vertical applications that encounter very low load conditions. For more difficult vibration problems, we can design and machine a 3 or 4-lobed unidirectional or bidirectional bearing. The increased stabilization these multi-lobed bearings provides will extend the life of your equipment.

Pressure Dam High Speed Bearings (hydrostatic bearings)

In machines that experience frequent start-ups and shutdowns, hydrostatic bearings provide a pressurized lift pocket and oil supply to reduce wear and tear. Start-up contact friction is eliminated by a thin film of oil that separates the shaft from the bearing. Hydrostatic bearings require careful engineering to exactly fit the application and to provide the high speed performance and long life required.

Tilting Pad Bearings

Tilting pad bearings rock or ‘tilt’ to counteract subsynchronous oil turbulence that can exist with fixed pad bearings. Centerline shaft vibration is often reduced by 90% making it the most stable journal bearing you can buy. The tilting pad bearing requires careful design to take into account vibrations due to both synchronous and asynchronous excitations, and to minimize horsepower loss. Take advantage of Wheeler’s bearing design expertise to ensure your tilted pad bearing is optimized for your specific application.