The OnlineMetals Guide to Oil-Impregnated Powdered Metals

Powdered Metals are a special class of materials designed to be used in bearings.

Where most of our materials are cast or wrought, powdered metals are first cast, then ground down into powder. This powder is then combined with oil and a binding agent and compressed under high heat to make a shape, typically round rod or hollowbar.

The really cool part about this process is that roughly 19% of the volume of the material is SAE 30 weight oil. As a machine using this bearing comes up to speed and temperature, a fine layer of oil sweats out of the bearing and coats the shaft, providing self-lubrication. When the machine is turned off and the bearing cools, capillary action within the bearing acts to absorb the oil back in. OnlineMetals.com currently stocks two types of oil-impregnated powdered metals in various shapes and sizes:
SAE 841 (available in HollowBar, Plate, Round)
SAE 863 (available in HollowBar, Round)

SAE 841 Oil-Impregnated Powdered Metal
SAE 841 Oil-Impregnated Bronze (Powder Metal)
Typical Properties % Oil by Volume 19% minimum
"K" Strength Constant 26,500
Tensile Strength, psi 14,000
Elongation (% in one inch) 1
Yield Strength, psi 11,000
Chemistry Copper (Cu) 87.5 - 90.5%
Iron (Fe) 1% max
Carbon (C) 1.75% max
Tin (Sn) 9.5 - 10.5%

SAE 863 Oil-Impregnated Powdered Metal
SAE 863 Oil-Impregnated Iron-Copper (Powdered Metal)
Typical Properties % Oil by Volume 19% minimum
"K" Strength Constant 30,000
Tensile Strength, psi 22,000
Elongation (% in one inch) 1
Yield Strength, psi 22,000
Chemistry Copper (Cu) 18 - 22%
Iron (Fe) Balance

At OnlineMetals, we all failed shop class. Multiple times. As a matter of fact, our employment applications specifically ask to see people's grades for their high school shop classes. If they're too high, they go into the rejected pile. We're also not engineers, and cannot make any specific recommendations about the suitability of a given alloy, temper, or shape for your project or application.

All technical data is for comparison purposes only and is NOT FOR DESIGN. It has been compiled from sources we believe to be accurate but cannot guarantee. This ends the part of the website that our pointy-headed lawyers made us put in.


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