23 Jul 2024


Rolled plain bearings are ‘biggest advance for 70 years’

Bowman says that its rolled plain bearings are a step change in the design of these products

The British bearing manufacturer Bowman International has announced a range of rolled bearings that it describes as the biggest advance in plain sliding bearings for more than 70 years. The BowMet bearings are said to offer higher load capacities and longer lives than comparable products, as well as providing good heat, speed and corrosion capabilities. They are manufactured from an alloy called ToughMet, developed in the US by Materion.

Bowman’s managing director, Paul Mitchell, hails the new range as “nothing short of a revolution in bearing design and capability, with the capacity to deliver increased reliability, reduced downtime, fewer warranty claims and lower maintenance costs. All this, of course, is in addition to outstanding bearing properties which enable higher loads and speeds, and combat corrosion.

“If that’s not enough, the reduced wastage achieved by the rolling process generates real cost reductions,” he adds. “Previously, bearings made from ToughMet had to be machined from solid bar or thick-walled tube, which could mean as much as 75% material wastage. We firmly believe this is the biggest advance in plain bearings in more than 70 years.”

The rolling process ensures almost no wastage. The bearings are available in plain or flanged versions with wall thicknesses from 0.75–3mm or larger, and are also available in imperial sizes. They can be customised to include lubrication grooves, location slots, tabs, holes and pockets, while special and one-off runs can also be produced with minimal or no tooling costs.

With a static load of 820 N/mm2 and a PV value of 9.6 MPa x m/s, the new bearings are suitable for harsh industrial applications, including mining and quarrying, heavy construction, oil and gas, materials handling and marine. Compared to traditional copper-based alloys, they can withstand corrosion such as hydrogen embrittlement, and chloride stress corrosion cracking.

Bowman, founded in 1972, specialises in the manufacture and supply of bearings and sintered components. In 2009, it acquired the assets of Oilite Bearings and MPC (formerly known as Eagersinter), expanding its ranges of sintered bearings and its sintered component capabilities. The company, based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, now stocks more than 7,000 types and sizes of bearings, including the Oilite and WM ranges.