As the name implies, bimetal bearings are constructed of two layers; usually a steel backing combined with a flexible, inner core. Core materials typically include silicon, copper, and aluminum, even polymers. But what advantages can a dual-layer design bring to industrial applications? Let’s dig in:
Bimetal bearings are constructed with sintered liners of different compositions, and they excel at rigorous applications where wear is a big obstacle. Bimetal bearings resist wear by design; they can be customized to tolerate specific speeds, loads, temperatures, and other factors for compatibility to your mating hardware.
How can they overcome some of the key causes of bearing failure?
- An inner liner prevents wear through - With a dual-layer design (whether metal or a metal/polymer mix), the strength of the material is dispersed evenly throughout the entire bearing unit. Why is this important? The unit will have the same thickness and same strength to prevent weak spots and wear through. Two layers result in a more reliable performance for a longer service timeline.
- More layers protect against debris - As we discuss in our Bearing Failure White Paper, debris contamination is a leading cause of bearing failure. Debris can be generated from machining such as shavings and even environmental contamination. A bimetal design has more surface area to resist debris. And in the rare case of a liner wear, the secondary layer is also lubricated to protect expensive manufacturing equipment from damage.
- Lubrication x2 - Lubrication (whether too much or too little,) is the number one cause of bearing failure. A bimetal or dual design provides an extra layer of lubrication protection. With more lubrication, there’s less heat generated, and less friction. Well lubricated bearings are also well designed for extended service life.
- Durability and strength - Sintered bearing liners bring different levels of durability and fatigue strength. For instance, auto engine and transmission applications have primarily low loads yet high rotating speeds. A TriSteel steel-backed bearing with a CuPb30 liner will give a load capacity of 3600 psi, speed to 2900 fpm Hardness: HB30-45, Temperature: -40 to +325F. 0.08-0.16, plus low friction and good dry breakaway properties.
- Agricultural Equipment
- Hydraulic Components
- Aircraft/Aerospace Automotive
- Construction Equipment
- General Engineering
Have you ever experienced a bearing wear failure? Would a bimetal bearing prevent a failure for your application? Share your thoughts in the comments!