Bronze Bushings: Common Uses and Functions

Blog | February 6th, 2017

Bronze bushings are a type of plain bearing, a component that works in much the same manner as a steel bearing. Multipart bearings, however, are equipped with several moving rings and many rolling elements. Bushings are simpler constructs. They’re made from a single rounded cylinder or sleeve. Interestingly, these bronzed sleeves work very well as radial friction attenuators. Just how does a single-part component pull off this lubricating magic?

Tinctured Design Proficiency 

A corrosion-resistant bronze isn’t a naturally oily metal, which is why the lubricating agent is added during the manufacturing stage. It’s back here that powder metallurgy presses the powder metal into its solid outlines while adding a lubricant to the mix. Then, by employing pure capillary action, the bushing releases a tiny amount of lubricant so that a fine film is formed along the surface of the sleeve. Self-lubrication is a very helpful feature to have in a plain bearing, one that promotes a near maintenance-free performance profile.

Wrapped Bronze Bushings 

Several manufacturing methods have transformed this relatively austere design profile. First of all, there are different internal geometries available. Diamond indents, as one example, encourage lubrication distribution. The geometry creates small pockets, tiny depressions where the lubricating film can create a thicker layer of shaft-rotating assistance. Then there are solid and flanged bushings, plus the wrapped versions that head this passage. Unlike powder pressed cylinders, a wrapped alloy is more robust than a product that’s made from powder metal. Wrapped bronze bushings make use of an engineering method known as continuous casting to produce bushings that are rated to carry heavier loads, which leaves the tinctured variant nominated as the ideal moderate loading solution.

Design Simplistic 

There’s no moving elements here, no parts that can multiply numerous energy losses until the whole shaft and its housing are vibrating. In place of this multitudinous design, there’s a single bronze sleeve, perhaps a flange and a few surface internalised pockets. From here, the load application selects a load capable tinctured bush or its cast bronze variant. Finally, that latter option isn’t self-lubricating, but lubricity distribution is still maintained in this product by using a CNC cutting tool to cut grooves into the bushing.

Corrosion-resistant and thermally conductive, mechanically strong bronze bushings are manufactured from either cast alloys or powder metallurgy technology, with the latter option adding a self-lubricating property to the plain bearing. From here, the rolling hardware gains strength by bonding the inner alloy to a stronger outer metal. TriSteel Bronze Bushings lead the field in this last manufacturing example.

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