An Overview about Sintered Porous Metal Bearings

June 11, 2020

If you think about it, sintered porous metal bearing is the birth child of the powder-metallurgy technology. They are considered as an advantageous addition to the manufacturing and production industry because they are extremely cost-effective, versatile, fast-paced and precise which ultimately results in high-production rates wherever they’re used. Know more about sintered porous metal bearings by reading on below.

Sintered Porous Metal Bearings Basics

Sintered porous metal bearings are most commonly found in industries such as household appliances, small motors,  machine tools, aircraft and automotive accessories, business machines, instruments, and farm and construction equipment. They are most likely made up of elements such as Bronze and Iron (Fe) incorporated with voids that take up 10-35 percent of the actual volume. They also have interconnecting pores. The way it works is that a lubricating oil is stored in the voids and feeds through the interconnected pores to the bearing surface.

Sintered Porous Metal Bearing Lubrication

Once the lubricating oil is stored in the void of the sintered porous metal bearings, it is then reabsorbed by the capillary action. Therefore, it is not necessary for these tools to be relubricated on a regular basis. As such, these sintered porous metal bearings can operate for a longer period of time with consistent work and operations without having the need for an additional supply of lubricant. This would greatly benefit inaccessible or inconvenient places where there could be a difficulty in re-lubrication.

This specific advantageous aspect of sintered porous metal bearings are specifically configured for a higher-yielding and more productive outcome. In common instances, 1 to 3.5 percent graphite is added to enhance the self-lubricating properties of sintered porous metal bearings. In other instances, high porosity materials with the maximum amount of lubricating oil is utilised in production that requires  high-speed light-load applications, such as fractional-horsepower motor bearings. In certain instances, operations that require oscillating and reciprocating motions needs a low-oil content, low porosity material with a high graphite content so that there will be no oil film build-up.

Sintered Porous Metal Bearing Powder Characteristics

Sintered porous metal bearing have powder producers that manage powder characteristics namely purity, hydrogen loss, particle size and distribution, and particle shape. It is highly essential to manage these powder characteristics since these properties can affect the performance in a certain way. Take a bronze sintered porous metal bearing for example. Since it contains 90 percent copper and 10 percent tin, the shrinkage increases as soon as the particle size of tin or copper powder decreases. Graphite additions can only do so much since it can positively increase the size but lower the strength of the bearings. Lubricants can also help the dimensions but it can have a great impact on the density and flow rate.

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