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Aluminum Tin Bearing Technology

Waukesha Bearings continues its leadership in advanced material bearings with the application of aluminum tin (AlSn).

A drop-in replacement for babbitt tilt pads, AlSn-lined tilt pads provide higher load capacity than babbitt pads due to higher temperature capability and greater fatigue resistance. AlSn pads can operate at up to 60% higher loads than babbitt pads.

The benefit of the higher load capacity can be applied to upgrade equipment capacity within the same bearing envelope or to reduce the bearing size for lower power loss and greater equipment efficiency.

AlSn tilt pad thrust bearings are ideal in oil-lubricated applications, such as heavy duty gas turbines and high power density compressors, that have design temperatures reaching 155°C (311°F) and/or cyclic bearing loads, which could result in babbitt fatigue. 

Applications that require copper-free materials (which disqualifies babbitt and polymer-lined pads) can use AlSn-lined steel pads.

Read how aluminum tin lining for thrust pads helped enable a series of performance upgrades on a heavy-duty gas turbine in "A System Integration Approach for Heavy-Duty Gas Turbine Upgrades Using Improved Rotor Thrust Predictions and Application of Advanced Thrust Bearing Designs."

(Authored by Bavassano F, Mantero M, Traverso R, Livermore-Hardy R, Blair B. Published in ASME Turbo Expo 2017: Power for Land, Sea, and Air, Volume 5B: Heat Transfer: V05BT15A012. doi:10.1115/GT2017-63647.)

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