What Are the Best Casting Techniques for Babbitting Metals?
Babbitt metal has been used in industrial manufacturing for a while now. Historically, the main bearing inserts in trucks and other heavy machinery have relied on the babbitting process. In a basic sense, babbitt functions as a solder, and it largely behaves in the same way.
Babbitt bearings are hard to find on the market these days, so if they are to be used in any modern projects, they’ll have to be cast by hand. Casting Babbitt for bearing projects takes patience and a steady hand.
Babbitt bearing repair services are also rare, but they do exist. If there’s none to be found, then smaller projects should still be manageable.
If the project involves replacing an old Babbitt bearing, then an oxy-acetylene torch is recommended for the removal of the bearing. These are common at most hardware stores. Do not reuse the old Babbitt that has melted off. The alloy will have developed impurities after being used for years.
Finding the right Babbitt alloy to fit the job can be tricky, but it can be determined by accounting for the surface speed of the shaft and the load that the bearing needs to carry. Companies that sell Babbitt should also have some guidance on how to find the right alloy.
Next prepare the surface by cleaning it with a solvent. This will ensure that any residues that might contaminate the babbitting process are removed from the worksite. Older surfaces are especially difficult to clean, and it could pay off to take an extra look.
Removing all contaminates is crucial so the Babbitt bond is uniform. The shaft that will be supported by the new babbitt metal bearing should also be clean and smooth. Coating the shaft with smoke from a low flame kerosene lamp will also help to prevent the shaft from clinging to the bearing.
Check the best pouring temperature for the Babbitt alloy that’s going to be melted, then make sure that the melting pot is up to the task. Melters aren’t too hard to find if a new one would be better for the project.
Once the babbitt metal has reached the proper temperature, skim off any dross that has collected on top. These impurities could adversely affect the babbitting process later.
Get the bearing shell ready well before the babbitt metal is read to be poured. Some ladles might not be big enough to fill the bearing shell. If a second pour is necessary then it should be done quickly a boundary doesn’t have time to form between the two metal from the first pour and the second.