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Load capacity of lubricated bismuth bronze bimetal bearing under elliptical sliding motion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Early online date4 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Leaded tin bronze alloys are widely used in heavy machinery bearings operating in boundary and mixed lubrication regions due to the excellent dry lubrication properties of lead. However, restrictions on the use of lead have created an increasing demand for lead-free or low-lead bearing materials. In the present study, suitability of a novel bismuth bronze bimetal material for possible substitution of leaded tin bronze was studied with a special thrust bearing test device, which simulates the contact conditions in the main thrust bearing of mineral crushers. The oil-lubricated test bearings have a flat-on-flat type contact with oil grooves and a constant eccentric motion against a case hardened steel counter plate under a periodically increased axial pressure. The test was continued until a sudden rise in friction, which indicates bearing failure and risk of an imminent seizure. The bismuth bronze showed a load capacity of the same level with the reference material, continuously cast CuSn10Pb10. Characterization by electron microscopy showed that the dry-lubricating bismuth precipitations had a fine grain size and an even distribution, which explains the good load carrying capacity. It was concluded that the bismuth bronze has potential for substituting the leaded tin bronzes in the studied operating conditions.


  • Bearings, Bimetals, Lead substitution, Non-ferrous metals, Solid lubricants

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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