BEARING MATERIAL OPTIONS
Bronze bearings are undeniably the most adaptable, long-lasting, cost-efficient bearings available. Unsurprisingly, they are also the most "widely used sleeve bearing type, industry-wide" (www.copper.org).
Combined with a sturdy, long-lasting design from Triangle and with proper maintenance, a bronze bearing often outlasts its application. Triangle sells more bronze bearings than any other type of material; it is followed by iron and nylon bearings.
BENEFITS OF BRONZE BEARINGS
- Quiet operation
- Long Life
- Low coefficient of friction
- High precision
- Exceptional corrosion resistance
- Remarkable shelf life
- High tolerance for shock loads
- Dampening of noise-causing vibration
- Bronze bearings operate at higher temperatures without losing ability to carry loads without creep and at sub-zero temperature without becoming hard and brittle. (www.copper.org)
- Large load capacity
- High shaft speed
- Ability to conform to unconformities
- Tolerant of unclean operating environments
Jack Sullivan, of Triangle Manufacturing says that bronze bearings are the "go-to bearings." Most OEMs start with bronze because it generally is a great fit for any industry and generally stay with it until they have a specific application that isn't compatible.
Bronze bearings do have weaknesses and do not work for every application. Spherical sleeve bearings will outlast their application if they are in continual motion, if the bearing's movement is stopped, the oil on the surface can dry which can lead to friction and wear. Bronze bearings, with oil cups or grease fittings need to be maintained or the life of the bearing will be shortened. Without lubrication the bearing will not work as smoothly as it could/should.
- Agricultural Machinery
- Food Machinery
- Material Handling Equipment
- Foundry Equipment
- Automotive Machinery
- Packaging Machinery
A more costly solution is a wood bearing, the type of wood used varies, but it is generally made out of a hard maple. Wood bearings are tolerant of dirt and good for high shaft speed rotation; they are also resistant to wet conditions and are even used when the equipment is fully submerged; such as in paddle boats and other aquatic machinery. Wood bearings are also resistant to acids, such as those that are found in animal manure. This resistance leads to wood bearings being overwhelmingly used in agricultural means, such as manure spreaders and other applications. Wood bearings are vacuum impregnated with oil or wax that leads to a low coefficient of friction and helps to seal the wood. They also have both higher load and speed capabilities than plastic bearings.
- Beverage Machinery
- Film Processing Equipment
- Marine Equipment
- Optical Machinery
- Air Compressors
- Paddle Boats
Plastic bearing are able to endure extreme temperatures, heavy loads and high speeds. They have high wear resistance and can reduce costs. The main benefit of plastic bearings is that they are suitable for wash-down applications and are resistant to both salt water and harsh chemicals. Water can act as a lubricant for plastic bearings, which is a huge advantage as most bearings are unable to function, let alone excel in a damp or wet environment. However, some plastic or nylon bearings do swell in humidity, which causes them to become dimensionally unstable.
- Food Preparation Machinery
- Conveying Equipment
Iron bearings have similar benefits to bronze bearings, however they are lower cost and stronger. Iron bearings typically have a long operating life; a Triangle customer recently replaced the original flange mounted iron bearings on a 29 year old rototiller. They have a consistently quiet operation and are best suited for a low load. Iron bearings tolerate sand and grit quite well leading to their popularity in agricultural applications.
- Lawn and Garden Equipment
- Combines, Tractors and other Agriculture Machinery
CAST IRON BEARINGS
Cast iron bearings are an inexpensive choice for applications utilizing low speed and high loads. Benefits of cast iron include gall-resistance and high heat tolerance. They can also be run dry due to the presence of graphite that acts as a lubricant.
- Lawn and Garden Equipment
No matter what bearing material you choose, Triangle has a compatible mounting. Whether you need a flange or pillow block mounting, or even a custom engineered piece, our mountings will work with bronze or plastic, iron or wood.
Triangle's mountings are compatible with many different materials, such as plastic, wood and powdered metals.