Spherical Plain Bearing Material Options

Spherical Plain Bearing Material Options

Triangle Manufacturing mountings are designed to work with multiple bearing material types, making our mountings a good fit for more applications and industries. Read about our spherical bearing types and their benefits.


Triangle Manufacturing mountings are designed to work with multiple bearing material types, making our mountings a good fit for more applications and industries. 

Bronze Spherical Plain Bearings

Bronze spherical plain bearings are undeniably the most adaptable, long-lasting, cost-efficient bearings available. The Copper Development Association Inc. says they can “perform satisfactorily for decades, even under severe operating conditions.”

With a combination of proper maintenance and a sturdy, long-lasting design from Triangle, a bronze spherical plain bearing often outlasts its application. 

Benefits of bronze spherical plain bearings

  • Quiet operation
  • Long life
  • Low coefficient of friction
  • High precision  
  • Exceptional corrosion resistance
  • High tolerance for shock loads
  • Dampens noise-causing vibration

Bronze spherical plain bearings operate at higher temperatures without losing ability to carry loads without creep and at sub-zero temperature without becoming hard and brittle. They also:

  • Handle large load capacities
  • Perform well with high shaft speeds
  • Are capable of conforming to unconformities
  • Are tolerant of unclean operating environments

Bronze spherical plain bearings will outlast their application if they are in continual motion. If the bearing's movement is stopped, the oil on the surface may dry, which can lead to friction and wear. Bronze spherical plain bearings with oil cups or grease fittings need to be maintained to lengthen bearing life. Without lubrication, the bearing will not work as smoothly.

Common applications of bronze spherical plain bearings

  • Agricultural machinery
  • Lawn and garden equipment
  • Conveyors
  • Light construction
  • Food machinery
  • Material handling equipment
  • Foundry equipment
  • Automotive machinery
  • Packaging machinery

Wood Spherical Plain Bearings

A more costly solution is a wood spherical plain bearing. Wood spherical plain bearings are generally made of hard maple, although the type of wood varies.

Benefits of wood spherical plain bearings

  • Tolerant of dirt
  • Good for high shaft speed rotation
  • Resistant to wet conditions
  • Resistant to acids

Wood spherical plain bearings are used when equipment is fully submerged, such as in paddle boats and other aquatic machinery. Due to their acid-resistance, they are used extensively in agriculture, including manure spreaders and other applications.

Wood spherical bearings are vacuum impregnated with oil or wax that leads to a low coefficient of friction and helps seal the wood. 

Common applications for Wood Spherical Plain Bearings

  • Beverage machinery
  • Film processing equipment
  • Marine equipment
  • Agriculture equipment
  • Optical machinery
  • Air compressors
  • Paddle boats

Plastic Spherical Plain Bearings

Plastic spherical plain bearings endure extreme temperatures, heavy loads and high speeds. They have high wear resistance and can reduce costs.

Benefits of plastic spherical plain bearings

Plastic spherical plain bearings are suitable for wash-down applications and resistant to salt water and harsh chemicals. Water can act as a lubricant for plastic spherical plain bearings, which is a huge advantage as most bearings are unable to function, let alone excel, in a damp or wet environment.

Common applications for plastic spherical plain bearings

  • Food preparation machinery
  • Conveying equipment
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Lawn and garden equipment
  • Household appliances


Iron Spherical Plain Bearings

Iron spherical plain bearings have similar benefits to bronze spherical plain bearings; however, they are more cost-effective. Iron spherical plain bearings typically have a long operating life.

Benefits of iron spherical plain bearings

  • Quiet operation
  • Suited for low loads
  • Tolerate sand and grit
  • Cost-effective

Common applications for iron spherical plain bearings

  • Lawn and garden equipment
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Combines, tractors and other agriculture machinery
  • Motors
  • Light construction


Cast Iron Spherical Plain Bearings

Cast iron spherical plain bearings are an inexpensive choice for applications using low speed and high loads. They are gall-resistant and tolerate high heat. They can also be run dry due to the presence of graphite that acts as a lubricant. If you have a heavy-duty application that has a very heavy shaft load, cast-iron is a good choice.

Common applications for cast iron spherical plain bearings

  • Lawn and garden equipment
  • Farm combines
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Conveying equipment 

Triangle Manufacturing bearing mountings

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 any spherical plain bearing material type you need. If you would like more information on Triangle's spherical plain bearings or would like a quote, contact us today. 

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