Bearings are machine parts that control relative motion. They help make the machine perform only the desired motion by reducing friction between the moving parts. It is an important part in many industries, and has a wide variety of applications. Due to the impressive characteristics of bronze, bearings are typically made out of it. Manufacturers select materials carefully as it is important to the performance of the equipment.
Although there are lots bearings made out of other metals such as iron, bronze is still preferred. Its mechanical and physical properties make it the first option. It is more expensive than iron, but its performance and properties deserve the high cost. Bronze bearings are usually sleeved type and industry-wide.
Bronze is resistant to corrosion. It forms a natural protective barrier that shields the piece against corrosive environments. Corrosion prevents metals from performing for long periods of time, and for bronze to resist such degrading phenomenon is impressive. It is also resistant to heat. Bronze bearings can perform well in environments that are subject to thermal changes or under high temperature.
Bearings are often exposed to high friction and rigid motion. Its material thus needs to be tough and durable. Bronze is a durable metal. It does not wear and tear easily. It can perform well for decades with minimal maintenance.
Due to its malleable property, bronze is easy to manufacture and mold. This can give the manufacturer the freedom to create bearings of all sizes. Because they are an integral part of any machine, bearings must be available to any size of machine on the market, making bronze the top choice for materials.
One of the factors that stop people from selecting bronze bearings is the cost. Yes, they are more expensive than iron bearings. However, the quality should not suffer for something cheap. Bronze, when purchased raw, is relatively cheaper. For projects that require a lot of prototyping, specifying the size of the bearings that you want can shave off the cost. Machine shops can manufacture the bearings that you want, and you may even get a discount for purchasing a large amount of the same size and type.
It is also important to know the types of bronze. Bronze by itself is an alloy, and for heightened characteristics, people often add more to the copper and tin mixture. This is what makes bronze versatile. Add another metal or non-metal to the concoction and you get a different kind of bronze with the same incredible characteristics. Bronze bearings can be made of aluminum bronze, beryllium copper and tin bronze. Tin bronze has extreme hardness, good alignment, and a Brinell shaft hardness ranging from 300 to 400. Bearings made from tin bronze are usually rolling-mill bearings, trunnion bearings and connecting-rod bearings. Aluminum bronze also increases the strength. Bearings made from aluminum bronze perform well at high temperatures and have excellent shock and wear resistance. Beryllium copper is used in making high load bearings. It is also frequently used in making aircraft landing gears, airframe sliding surfaces and electrically conducting applications.