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Zinc Bearing alloys compared to Bronze bearing alloy C93200:  

An investigation of the properties of ZA alloys as bearing materials was conducted in 1981 - 1986.  It was concluded that ZA bearing alloys had equivalent or superior bearing performance to bronze alloys, particularly C93200 (SAE 660) lead-tin bronze.  Experimental data demonstrated that ZA bearing alloys have the following advantages over SAE 660:  

·          Zinc alloy bearings typically run with lower friction energy loss and at lower temperatures than C93200 Bronze bearings under identical conditions of load, speed and journal.

·          The load capacity of ZA bearings is equivalent or higher than for C93200 bronze bearings, particularly at higher speeds.  Further, hydrodynamic behavior is extended to higher load in ZA bearings than in C93200 Bronze at equivalent bearing speeds.

·          The wear rate of ZA alloys is equivalent to or often much lower than C93200 Bronze under the same conditions of load and speed.

Other Advantages:  

·          Conformability/Embeddability:  ZA alloys are hard in comparison to lead-tin bronzes but equivalent to aluminum bronze.  Their conformability (ability to deform to accommodate journal misalignment) is better than bronze in view of the lower melting point of the alloys and the reduction in hardness with bearing temperature.  Embeddability is also excellent and is comparable to C93200 bronze.  However, as with all bearing materials, efforts should be exercised to prevent ingestion of larger dust or metallic particles which could result in rough running and wear of the bearings.

·          Emergency Running:  The lubrication starvation or emergency running properties of ZA alloys are superior to lead-tin and aluminum bronzes.  During such conditions, a thin film of zinc is smeared across the interface with the journal, thereby reducing friction and wear on the shaft.  

For more detailed information regarding zinc bearing applications, or to request the zinc design manual, please contact Ryan Winter at 845-427-2151 or

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