I am nearing a re-babbitt operation on the TT engine.. I have been reading quite a bit about it (I am not doing it, just learning about it) and there seems to be some differences in Babbitt materials... Tin, Anitmony, Copper, Graphite, etc.
I read the Magnolia book on babbitts.. And I know Ford made a babbitt material that had more copper in it, heated to 1000 degrees F and stirred often to make sure the copper did not settle..
So, what is the current thought on babbitt materials and what is recommended?
Babbitt type SAE#2 is very similar to the alloy used by ford and refered to as 'Government Genuine" over the years...i am in the process of packing my home and my data sheets are packed as are my rolo-dex file ...
i believe the alloy (#2) is 89% tin,6% copper,with remaining being equal parts of antimony and bismuth...
i regularly purchase from "Atlas Metals" in Denver ...i don't have their 800 number handy but they should be in all phone listings for the Denver area ...
hope this helps,i believe i had sent you an information packet on my tooling and process some months back...if not e-mail your mailing address and i will send out info on my tooling...
best regards and Happy New Year
There is a great deal of Babbitt information to be found on the Internet. Here is a primer. Isaac Babbitt, inventor and manufacturer; invented a journal box (for enclosing train axles, ball bearings, and lubrication), U.S. Patent #1252, July 17, 1839. His suggestion of the bearing alloy was more important than the invention itself. Babbitt, in present-day usage is applied to a whole class of silver-white bearing metals, or "white metals. These alloys usually consist of relatively hard crystals embedded in a softer matrix, a structure important for machine bearings. They are composed primarily of tin, copper, and antimony, with traces of other metals added in some cases and lead substituted for tin in others. Ford "Babbitt" wasn't Babbitt at all. It was what was called "heavy pressure metal" and the chemical composition differed from the originally Babbitt. The material used by Ford had a composition of 86% tin, 7% copper and 7% antimony. The alloy known as "genuine Babbitt" is composed of about 85% tin, 7% copper and 8% antimony. Because of the high cost of tin, there is a more widely used Babbitt metal which is composed of 85% lead, 5% tin, 10% antimony and 0.5% copper. The latter is not suitable for high speeds or heavy loads. A common "Government Genuine Babbitt" is composed of 89% tin, 7% antimony and 4% copper. This is the best Babbitt to nearly approximate the old "heavy pressure metal", and the stuff is NOT CHEAP. No doubt, there are many various in-between alloys loosely termed "Babbitt" metals. The element ratios used in "Babbitt" alloys impart different wearing characteristics with different ratios. Temperature is more important to a good bearing than composition. Babbitt over-heating, when melting and pouring will "burn" it and the result will be a brittle bearing. The Babbitt that is no longer available would be, if there was a market for that metal ratio and that was the best metal you could get.
My Model A friend and I have bought a lot of babbitt on eBay. As was mentioned, it should say "Government Genuine" and have an Indian Chief's head on one end of the bar. It is also cast with the name of the smelting works in Syracuse NY.
He says it's the best. We gave around $40.00 per bar.
There's a bar right now on eBay that is government marine babbitt. If you search on "babbitt," you'll find it among the copies of the book "Babbitt" by Sinclair and "Tuck Everlasting" written by somebody named Babbitt.
And to think that only a few months ago I thought babbitt was a bunny with a cold!
Isaac Babbitt (1799-1862) was the inventor of the famous "Babbitt Metal." Although inventor of method of using soft metals for journals, his patents make no claim of the alloy, but simply the method of holding the metal in place. He was first a goldsmith and in 1824 made the first Britannia. He moved to Boston and while in the employ of the S. Boston Iron Works in 1839, he produced the invention which perpetrated his name. Congress granted him $20,000 reward. His invention was patented in foreign countries.
His original formula for Babbitt metal was:
4 Parts Copper.
8 Parts Antimony.
24 Parts Banca Tin.
Canada Metal has a really informative web site,just follow the links
When I was in Calgary a month or so ago I went to watch the pouring of a block by the guy who does most of the work around there. He was pouring Heavy Pressure Metal, said he was getting it from a company in Vancouver and that it was less expensive than Government Genuine and they had never had a problem with it. My camera didn't work but I did take a few pics with my cell phone. A few years ago I bought about 20 lbs of 4XNickel Magnolia from a guy in Kentucky but have not used any of it.
I like Belmont metals Inc 7852A heavy duty babbit alloy ASTM B-23 grade 3 chemistry. 02/16/2007 it cost $8.55 per pound. The thing I like about belmont is their Data sheet. They tell you brinell hardness,melting point poring & solidifing temperature. and things I have forgotton. go to their web http:://belmontmetals.com request the data sheets for Babbit. look at them your self.
The teicky part of Babbiting is TEMP. Mold Cores,Babbitt,& How fast it cools.
I started Babbitting my own after having a rod & cap slip the Babbitt. I have had the Babbitt in the caps fail to bond properly, not kept hot enough before poring. I have examples of others having the same ore worse failure. Some of my babbiting fixtures & babbitt furnace can be seen on my web ttyoder.com
I went to local industrial supplier and bought a very nice high temperature dial type thermometer with a 12" probe for about $25.00. You don't want to just leave it in the pot but it reads quickly and accurately and it didn't break the bank.
In the UK I have been using bearings made from a material produced by "Hoyts Metal", They produce two grades from memory. I think we always used their 11R product for the high performance engines.
There was a company who used slightly second grade material that they were confident was suitable for use with less stressed engines. Much cheaper but not something I was confident to pass to a customer.
I guess you may already know this tip, sorry if i'm stating the obvious; to check the metal adhesion and security you can place the clean shell or metalled cap onto a piece of paper or similar and tap it with a small spanner or similar. The bearing should "ring" with a nice tone. If it's tone is dull then think carefully about its condition.
Non-T, but this video shows someone pouring babbitt in a very old fashioned shop. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrMEwTAmVPA&fmt=18
So much of our heritage and history is gone or fast disappearing, case in point is this shaft driven black smith shop and the pouring of babbit, I just hope that someone will go back and really do a good video of this place, the tools, the shafts and the operations, I will be the first in line to buy a copy. Both my Grand Dads, who raised me, were country blacksmiths, could flame weld, pour babbit and etc. If I remember the routine on a block, the rods and caps would be tossed in the bed of coals to heat up, and after they became available, the Coleman blow torch would be used to at least warm up the block, inexact, but you dance with the one that brung you. My local mechanic friend does most of the babbit the old fashioned way except that he at least has a rose tip for his torch. There is babbit all over the place, and I am sure he will die an early death, but this is what used to be common practice, I hope to borrow a recorder and video him doing this one day, but we both figure the EPA will come and put us both in the Pen if they find out what he is doing, and so it goes.
So much of our heritage and history is gone or fast disappearing, case in point is this shaft driven black smith shop and the pouring of babbitt, I just hope that someone will go back and really do a good video of this place, the tools, the shafts and the operations, I will be the first in line to buy a copy. Both my Grand Dads, who raised me, were country blacksmiths, could flame weld, pour babbitt and etc. If I remember the routine on a block, the rods and caps would be tossed in the bed of coals to heat up, and after they became available, the Coleman blow torch would be used to at least warm up the block, inexact, but you dance with the one that brung you. My local mechanic friend does most of the babbitt the old fashioned way except that he at least has a rose tip for his torch. There is babbitt all over the place, and I am sure he will die an early death, but this is what used to be common practice, I hope to borrow a recorder and video him doing this one day, but we both figure the EPA will come and put us both in the Pen if they find out what he is doing, and so it goes.