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ASTM B438-17

ASTM B438-17

Standard Specification for Bronze-Base Powder Metallurgy (PM) Bearings (Oil-Impregnated)

2017-05-10 /Active

This specification covers sintered bronze, oil-impregnated bearings made primarily from elemental copper, tin, lead, and graphite powders. This specification covers the following variables: Grades (available in three bronze base compositions identifiable by different graphite contents and one leaded bronze grade) and Type (Grades 1 and 2 are available in four types described by specific density ranges. Grade 3 is available in two types and Grade 4 is available in one type). Sintered bronze bearings shall be made by molding or briquetting metal powder mixtures to the proper density. The material shall conform to the required chemical composition for copper, tin, graphite, iron, lead, zinc, nickel, and antimony. The density of bearings supplied impregnated with lubricant shall be within the prescribed limits. Oil content of bearings shall not be less than the prescribed value for each grade and type of material. The material of different grades and types shall conform to the prescribed radial crushing strength requirements. An acceptance specification for the minimum bearing breaking load may be established for any specific standard oil-impregnated bearing. Chemical analysis shall be made for each representative sample of chips, which may be obtained by milling, drilling, filing, or crushing a bearing with clean dry tools without lubrication.


1.1 This specification covers porous metallic sleeve, flange, thrust and spherical bronze-base bearings that are produced from mixed metal powders utilizing powder metallurgy (PM) technology and then impregnated with oil to supply operating lubrication.

1.2 Included are the specifications for the chemical, physical and mechanical requirements of those bronze-base PM materials that have been developed and standardized specifically for use in the manufacture of these self-lubricating bearings.

1.3 This specification is applicable to the purchase of bronze-base bearings (oil-impregnated) that were formerly covered by military specifications and are intended for government or military applications. Those additional government requirements that only apply to military bearings are listed in the Supplementary Requirements section of this specification.

1.4 This specification accompanies Specification B439 that covers the requirements for Iron-Base Powder Metallurgy (PM) Bearings, (Oil-Impregnated).

1.5 Typical applications for bronze-base bearings are listed in Appendix X1.

1.6 Bearing dimensional tolerance data are shown in Appendix X2, while engineering information regarding installation and operating parameters of PM bearings is included in Appendix X3. Additional useful information on self-lubricating bearings can be found in MPIF Standard 35, ISO 5755 and the technical literature.2

1.7 With the exception of density values for which the g/cm3 unit is the industry standard, the values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

1.8 The following safety hazards caveat pertains only to the test methods described in this specification. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.9 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

bearing breaking load; bronze bearings; impregnated density; interconnected porosity; oil content; oil-impregnated bearings; open porosity; porous metallic bearings; radial crushing strength; self-lubricating bearings; PM bearings; PV Factor; PV Limit;
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