Back in 1839, Isaac Babbitt registered a patent for a metal alloy. It was white in color and was made out of 3.6% copper, 7.1% antimony, and 89.3% 10.
This alloy had gone through a series of changes since it was first patented, but many manufacturers still use the original formulation in the modern-day for Babbitt bearing repair. Many white metals are now referred to as Babbitt. Whether it’s copper, antimony, tin, or lead, you may hear them being referred to as Babbitt.
Each of these metals is known for being sturdy, and resistant to corrosion and general wear and tear. They each have soft and hard components that make them ideal for a range of different uses.
What Can Babbitt Be Used For?
Babbitt metal is most commonly used to apply a thin surface layer to a metal structure containing several different components. Originally, however, it was created to use in a bulk bearing system.
Babbitting is a process that is used for lining bronze, steel, or cast iron-bearing shells. These components are commonly found in engines and other mechanical systems due to their high resistance to corrosion and wear and tear. This means that they can extend the lifespan of the bearings.
During the creation of tin or lead bearings, the Babbitt is usually used while the coating is hot and molten. This is necessary to prevent the formation of contraction cavities within the components. After the molten coating has cooled and hardened, the lining is made to a specified thickness before the Babbitting process is complete.
What Is Involved in Babbitt Spraying?
Babbitt bearing repair may also involve spraying the Babbitt onto the shell. This used a Babbitt wire that has been specifically created to use in spraying.
Babbitt coatings are used for bearings in systems that require a lot of movement or are high speed and heavy-duty. The Babbitt provides a specialized metal coating that provides protection and resistance to the system.
Specialized Babbitt coatings are low in something known as coating oxide. However, they have a bright, mirror-like, metallic appearance. The Babbitt metal used in these applications is a wire that provides a coating with the following physical properties:
- Melting point of around 695 degrees Fahrenheit
- Thickness limitation of greater than 0.200 inches
- Coating weight of 0.03 (lb/ft2/0.001 inches) and a dentist of 3 (g/cc)
- Coating bond strength of 1,200 PSI
- Surface finish of less than 50
- Sprayed surface finish of 400-600
Babbitt has a large range of applications in the mining, power generation, and heavy equipment industries. It is commonly used in hydraulic and gas turbines, engines, gear drives, motors, bearings, and ball mills.
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