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Photo: Cast Bronze Bearings

Product Spotlight: Cast Bronze Bearings

Posted by Diversified Bronze on Tuesday, Oct 31st, 2017
A lot of the technology we use today is relatively recent, popping up for the first time around the Industrial Revolution and then undergoing refinement and innovation until ending up where it is today. Cast bronze bearings, however, have been used in some form or another for hundreds of years. Bronze bearings come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, including sleeve bearings, split bearings, flanged bearings, thrust washers, and wear plates. Custom oil grooves, threading, and drill holes are available on certain bronze bearings, as well. The bottom line is that these are an essential part of many machines, and we just so happen to provide some truly excellent bronze bearings here at Diversified Bronze.

Choosing Cast Bronze Bearings

Knowing which cast bronze bearings to choose depends on the service conditions, the required material properties, and the type of bronze. While not all of these conditions can be known before buying these materials, an accurate prediction will be essential in purchasing the right bronze bearings.

Service Conditions

The first thing to consider when determining what bronze bearings may be necessary for a certain machine are the service conditions. According to Copper.org, the following service conditions are the ones that can have the biggest impact on which bearings are the best fit:
  • Oscillating motion, especially those that fall short of full revolutions.
  • Environments that may prove corrosive to the metal.
  • Dirty environments, or environments that may require lubrication.
  • Inconsistent supplies of lubricants.
  • Temperature.
  • Machines that experience frequent stops and starts.
  • Shafts that can grow misaligned.
Knowing which of these environmental factors may affect your bearings can go a long way toward choosing the right ones.

Material Properties

The metals and other materials in machines also can affect which bronze bearings are most appropriate for a certain project. For example, we may look at any disparity between the hardness of the metals in use, as well as how that may impact the coefficient of friction between those two metals. Other considerations include the material’s ability to absorb and discard small contaminant particles, its high compressive strength, its high fatigue strength, its corrosion resistance, its low shear strength, its structural uniformity and its cost and availability. Needless to say, we offer a number of bronze bearings that can work for each of these conditions.

Types of Bronze

The final consideration comes in the form of bronze types, of which there are many. Different alloys are better for all of the varying conditions listed above, with different metals helping to add certain qualities to the bronze. Tin bronzes, leaded tin bronzes, high-leaded tin bronzes, aluminum bronzes, and manganese bronzes all perform differently in action, giving each machine exactly what it needs to run as well as designed. If a business needs any help determining what their needs are from their bronze bearings suppliers, we always are happy to help. At Diversified Bronze, we hold ourselves to a high standard in both service and product quality, especially when it comes to our cast bronze bearings.

Selecting Bronze Bearings Materials: What You Need to Know

Posted by Diversified Bronze on Thursday, Sep 28th, 2017
Bronze bearings are everywhere in machine design because they are, quite frankly, essential to keeping these machines from falling apart. Without them, the range of movement for certain mechanics would be way outside of the desired motion, increasing friction between various moving parts and wreaking all sorts of havoc on the machine itself. These bearings are absolutely necessary, and some type of bronze very often is the material of choice for manufacturing them.

Choosing a Bronze Bearing Material

It is not as easy as choosing bronze as a bearing material, however. Bronze bearings come in a number of different alloys to be used for different purposes. The following is a quick rundown of which alloys are best in certain circumstances:

Tin Bronzes

Adding tin to a bearing bronze alloy essentially serves the purpose of strengthening the metal. Tin bronzes are, as a result, very strong, but they also are hard and boast a high ductility, all of which makes them good for carrying heavier loads and holding up well over time, even in machines that really pound. They also perform especially well in seawater and brine.

Leaded Tin Bronzes

There are some tin bronzes that actually add a little bit of lead, which sounds as though it would add strength but in reality improves machinability, meaning it is easier to be cut and removed if needed at relatively low cost to the owner of the machine. Some leaded bronzes also contain some zinc, which is a way of strengthening the bearings more affordably than tin alone.

High-Leaded Tin Bronzes

There is significant demand for high-leaded tin bronzes because they are so versatile in a number of general applications at medium speeds and carrying medium loads. The strength and hardness of bronzes in this category are sacrificed a bit in favor of better anti-friction and machining properties, but all in all they are excellent bearings that work well in a number of circumstances.

Aluminum Bronzes

As the strongest of the bearing bronze alloys, aluminum bronzes are the only ones capable of being heat treated. That extra strength also allows them to deal with loads up to 50 percent higher than leaded tin alloys, meaning for heavier-duty jobs the aluminum bronze alloys are a smart, reasonable choice. They do come at the sacrifice of ductility and conformity, but for strength there’s no better option.

Manganese Bronzes

Perhaps the most complicated alloys in terms of makeup, the manganese bronze bearings feature zinc and small amounts of manganese, iron, aluminum and lead, all of which combine to create a bearing bronze that is strong, can operate at high speeds, can support heavy loads and can resist corrosion. They don’t deal with abrasion well, though, so the accompanying shafts need to be hard and relatively stationary. Here at Diversified Bronze, we work with many of these different types of bronze bearings, and we are happy to answer any questions about which of these may be best for a certain type of machine. Simply reach out to us any time to ensure that your products maintain their integrity over time because of the highly quality of bearing bronze used in the manufacturing process.

Common Modern Uses for Bronze

Posted by Diversified Bronze on Tuesday, Sep 5th, 2017
Since the Bronze Age, 3200 BC to 600 BC, humans have used this metal alloy to make metal tools that have lead to societal advancements. While the different formulas and uses of bronze have changed over time, its qualities continue to make it the perfect alloy for many tools, instruments and works of art. The purpose of this blog is to highlight some of the many uses of bronze today.

Bronze Bearings

The makeup of Bronze makes it great for creating bearings because of its increased strength and load bearing properties. Many times zinc, nickel or silver is often added to improve corrosion resistance, toughness and add to the life of the part. Bronze is also an ideal metal for machining into bronze bearings and bushings due to its malleability. Aluminum bronze often used for bearing due to its high strength and excellent shock resistance. It is important to pick the correct bronze alloy based on what it will be used for.

Spark Free Tools

Bronze has a special quality of not producing sparks. This is very helpful when it comes to working in flammable and explosive environments. Hammers, mallets, and other tools that produce friction are best made from bronze when working on oil rigs and other volatile work sites.

Coins, Medals and Sculptures

Getting third place in an Olympic completion is not the best in the World, but it will garner you a bronze medal. Pennies are often thought of as being made of copper, but are typically comprised of bronze. Bronze is commonly used in coins, medals and sculptures due to its ability to be molded, its strength and resistance to corrosion. Check out the bronze David made by Donatello to see an amazing work of art that has truly stood the test of time. Made in the 1440’s you can observe this statue today in Florence at the Bargello.

Musical Instruments

Bronze has long been used to create some of the most commonly used musical instruments. It is the preferred material for bells and cymbals used for centuries around the world. It is also used as components of the harpsichord, guitar and piano. Many of the Saxophones you hear at your favorite Jazz bar are made of phosphor bronze. The tambourine is another instrument commonly made out bronze due to its ability to reverberate a certain jingle. Diversified Bronze is a leader in providing bronze raw material as well as individual machined parts. With the experience to help you find which bronze is the right fit for your project. Contact us today!

Regulatory Trends Driving an Increase in Copper Demand

Posted by Diversified Bronze on Wednesday, Aug 30th, 2017
While not everybody agrees about how to treat, manage, and protect the environment, one thing that everybody in the copper industry can agree on is that environmental regulations have changed a lot over the course of the last 20 years. Based on several current trends, it does not look as though they will stop changing any time soon. Here at Diversified Bronze, we focus on custom machining services rather than the mining and refining of the metals we work with, but that does not mean some of these trends won’t affect the way we do business. According to a recent report commissioned by the International Copper Association (ICA), there have been big changes in the demand for copper of late, all of which have resulted in an increase in demand for the versatile metal.

Resource Conservation

Gone are the days where miners could simply enter a resource-rich area and scrape it dry of its valuable minerals and precious metals. Governments are growing ever-stricter in terms of mining regulations to help ensure that resources are environmentally sustainable, focusing specifically on eliminating waste by developing products and systems that are more efficient in their materials and design. Copper, for a number of reasons, is exactly the sort of metal to help with that.

Carbon Footprint

One of the most obvious ways that governments are attempting to help the environment is through a reduction in carbon emissions and through the production of cleaner sources of electricity like solar power and wind power. On the surface, it may not sound as though copper has much to do with these policies, but the aforementioned ICA report found that copper was an oft-used metal in the low-emission equipment and renewable energy tech that is responsible for reductions in carbon footprints. This, too, lends itself well to a boost in copper demand.

Control of Toxicity

Another regulatory trend has focused on the toxicity of certain products, which is good both for the people using those products and for copper, particularly since the latter is known for its long product life that minimizes the need for replacement. Other metals are not so kind, very often requiring replacement because they have grown toxic over time. That is, for example, precisely why we do not use lead water pipes any longer.

Social License to Operate

Beyond the scope of government regulations, if a community is not in support of a mining operation, it simply is not going to happen. Copper, however, has a long history of boasting business integrity, and since copper is such a profitable, environmentally-friendly metal, both in terms of mining it and recycling it, there is a good chance that any future SLO in relation to its mining will be easily attained. Those that work in our custom machine shop can attest how important copper is to what we do here at Diversified Bronze. These trends skew well for a metal that matters quite a lot in our industry. It’s no wonder copper’s future looks so bright.