Babbitt - Identification Guide

Modified on 2012/04/05 21:41 by krucker — Categorized as: Bearings, Restoration Topics

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Introduction

Many different grades of Babbitt were sold and marketed over the years by many different companies with some still being commercially available today. With so many types being manufactured through the years, it is not uncommon to find vintage ingots of Babbitt at garage sales, hardware stores, on-line auctions and various other sources. Because of this, this guide will show pictures and give details on Babbitt ingots commonly found. The following guide is classified by manufacturer. As information on the composition of different brands becomes available to us, we will add them to this guide.

American Smelting and Refining Company

The American Smelting And Refining Company was founded in 1899 by Henry H. Rogers, William Rockefeller, Adolph Lewisohn and Leonard Lewisohn. In 1901 Meyer Guggenheim and his sons took over the company. The company changed its name to ASARCO Incorporated in 1975 and has operated under that name ever since.

The companies primary business has always been copper mining and refining but has also interest in lead processing. Upon the many products manufactured by American Smelting and Refining Company, various grades of Babbitt were included.

Shelby Diesel Engine Babbitt

Shelby Diesel Engine Babbitt

Shelby Diesel Engine Babbitt

Exact composition is unknown but appears to be a lead based Babbitt.

XXXX Nickel Babbitt

XXXX Nickel Babbitt

XXXX Nickel Babbitt

A tin based babbitt plus Nickel. While the exact composition is not known, according to literature on this product, it is very similar to a ASTM B-23 Grade 2 Babbitt (Genuine Babbitt) with the addition of a small amount of Nickel.



Belmont Metals

Belmont Metals, Inc. was founded by George Henning in 1896 as a non ferrous scrap dealership on Brooklyn’s Belmont Avenue. The company offers over 3,000 different metal alloys, including Babbitt.

Babbitt

Belmont Metals Babbitt

Belmont Metals Babbitt

This is one example of Babbitt being offered by Belmont Metals. Exact composition is unknown but appears to be a lead based Babbitt.

Certified Metals Manufacturing Company

We have been unable to find any information on this manufacturer.

Certified Babbitt

Certified Babbitt

Certified Babbitt

Babbitt of unknown composition. Appears to be a tin based product.

Chadwick-Boston Lead Co.

Chadwick merged with Boston Lead Company in March of 1901. Acquired the Forest River factory in the late 1890s. The Chadwick Lead company merged with Boston lead company in 1900 or 1901.

Medium Babbit Metal

Medium Babbit

Medium Babbit

Babbitt of unknown composition.

Magnolia Metal Corporation

Magnolia Metal Corporation began business in 1886 with a technical innovation in the then new bearing industry: the invention of lead-based babbitt metal. Less expensive than tin-based babbitt, "Magnolia Anti-Friction" was soon being shipped around the world. Over 100 years later, babbitt products comprise only 1% of Magnolia Metals sales, but the company still manufacturers several grades of Babbitt. Customers can still purchase large quantities of these Babbitt today metals directly from Magnolia.

Magnolia Anti-Friction Metal

Magnolia Anti-Friction Metal

Magnolia Anti-Friction Metal

Sold by the Magnolia Metal Corporation, Magnolia Anti-Friction Metal is still available for purchase today. Introduced in 1886, Magnolia Metal (as it was commonly referred to) was advertised as "the best bearing material known to man and far superior than any other Babbitt." While there is no doubt that Magnolia Metal has it's applications and does generally perform well, it also has some limitations. Magnolia Anti-Friction Metal is a primarily lead based material but with the addition of graphite for to make it somewhat self lubricating.

Composition (approximately):
ElementPercent
Lead80.00%
Tin5.00%
Antimony15.00%

This product is equivalent to the following specifications:
ASTM: B23 Grade 8


According to the Magnolia Metal Corporation, Magnolia Anti-Friction Metal "meets all requirements for general use. Offers good resistance to compression and has the lowest co- efficient of friction of any known bearing metal... 1/3 that of genuine babbitt. Is graphite treated and largely self-lubricated. Typical Applications... Line shafting...electric motors 10 to 250 hp.... winches... pumps... propeller shafts... cement mills ... general machinery."

Pouring temperature for Magnolia Anti-Friction Metal is 750-825 degrees F.



Adamant Super-Genuine Babbitt

Adamant Super-Genuine Babbitt

Adamant Super-Genuine Babbitt

Sold by the Magnolia Metal Corporation, Adamant Super-Genuine Babbitt is still available for purchase today. Exact composition is not know but this is a tin based babbitt and suspected to be a similar formula as original Babbitt (probably ASTM B-23 Grade 2). This product would be preferred over Magnolia Anti-Friction Metal for most high speed applications.

According to the Magnolia Metal Corporation, Adamant Super Genuine Babbitt is "a genuine babbitt metal alloyed especially for malleability, strength and toughness. Will not crack or chip even when subjected to extremely severe shock loads. Easy to pour, conforms well to the shell. Typical Applications... Internal combustion engines... trap rock crushers... sifter machinery."

Pouring temperature for Adamant Super-Genuine Metal is 775-825 degrees F.

National Lead Company

The National Lead Company, renamed NL Industries in 1971, can trace its roots as far back to 1772 in Philadelphia. In 1891, several lead manufacturers banded together and incorporated as the National Lead Company. The company has been well known for its white-lead paints, sold since 1907 under the Dutch Boy label. Of the companies many products, bearing metals are included. Ingots of various types are commonly found today with the "Dutch Boy" trade mark cast into the face of the ingot.

Bearing Metal

This brand is simply branded "Bearing Metal." Exact composition is not known but it suspected to be a basic lead based babbitt.

Genuine Babbitt Metal

Genuine Babbitt

Genuine Babbitt

A tin based babbitt which would be more appropriate for high speed applications. While exact composition is not known, it is probably a ASTM B-23 Grade 2 Babbitt.

Perfection Anti-Friction Metal

Another brand of babbitt metal made by National Lead. Composition of this metal is also unknown but probably a mid-grade product with more tin than the basic "Bearing Metal" but not enough to call it a true "Genuine Babbitt Metal."

Phoenix Metal

Phoenix Metal

Phoenix Metal

Unknown composition but appears to be a lead based Babbitt.



United American Metals Corporation

United American Metals Corporation was founded in 1889 by the Muscat Family in Brooklyn, N.Y. Originally, the company specialized in lead based metals to make type for the printing industry.

During the Second World War, the primary focus switched from lead type to Babbitt for the Marine industry and the general trade as part of the war effort. During this time, a new plant was opened in Tyler, Texas plant. Highest priority for use of scarce materials such as Tin and Antimony was given UAM by the War Production Board.

After WWII, the company expanded their product line to many other types of specialty metals but still makes several babbitt metals to this day.

More information on this company can be found in this link to some old literature concerning the products of the United American Metals Corporation.

Stonewall Babbitt

Stonewall Babbitt

Stonewall Babbitt

Stonewall Babbitt

Stonewall Babbitt

Made by the United American Metals Corporation, Stonewall Babbitt has been around for many years and is still being sold today through industrial supply houses such as McMaster-Carr. This is a Lead Based Babbitt is among the least expensive babbitt that you can buy.

Composition:
ElementPercent
Lead74.50%
Tin10%
Antimony14.75%
Copper0.25%
Arsenic0.50%

This product is equivalent to the following specifications:
ASTM: B23 Grade 7
SAE: 14
Federal Spec.: QQT390 Grade 7


While this material would work fine for light duty and low speed applications, for just a little more money, you can get a much better quality material. Probably best to shy away from for most machinery applications.

Pouring Temperature is 650 degrees F.



Government Genuine Babbitt Metal

Government Genuine Babbitt

Government Genuine Babbitt

Government Genuine

Government Genuine

Also made by the United American Metals Corporation, this tin based Babbitt is advertised as the highest grade of Babbitt metal made by that company. According to their literature, there is no speed too high; no lead too heavy; no shock too great for Government Genuine Babbitt. This Babbitt is alloyed by the Stanley Process. It is especially adapted for band-saws, connecting rods, clay products machinery, converters, crank-pins, crushers, crushing-rolls, compressors, cutters, centrifugal pumps, dynamos, gas engines, marine engines, mill gearings, saw-mill, arbors, trimmers, steam cylinders, steam pumps, swing saws, turbines and tube mills. Ideal for automobiles, buses, diesel engines, and airplanes.

Composition:
ElementPercent
Tin89.00%
Antimony7.50%
Copper3.50%

This product is equivalent to the following specifications:
ASTM: B23 Grade 2
SAE: 12
Federal Spec.: QQT390 Grade 2


Pouring temperature is 700 degrees F.

Manganese Babbitt Metal

Manganese Babbitt

Manganese Babbitt

Manganese Babbitt Metal

Manganese Babbitt Metal

Yet another brand of babbitt metal made by United American Metals Corporation. Even though the name contains the name "manganese," according the the companies literature, it does not actually contain any of this element.

Composition:
ElementPercent
Lead80.25%
Tin5.00%
Antimony14.75%

This product is equivalent to the following specifications:
ASTM: B23 Grade 8
Federal Spec.: QQT390 Grade 6


This babbitt contains less tin than the companies "Stonewall", making it most useful for slow turning shafts only.

According to their literature: "There is no bearing that covers so wide a scope of service as Manganese Babbitt. Easy to cast. Makes a solid bearing and is practically self-lubricating."

"Especially adapted for auxiliary pumps bagasse carriers, beaters, calendars, car axles, chemical agitators, clay machinery, conveyors, cotton-mill machinery, cottonseed oil machinery crystallizer drives, driving shafts, elevators, Fourdriniers, hoisting machinery, hydraulic presses, knitting machinery, light capacity pumps, light capacity pumps, light saw-mills, mixing mills, pulverizes, sausage grinders, saw mandrills, saw tables, shapers, woodworking machinery."