4 Jan 2018
When looking for mold and die components, there are a handful of choices to make: what kind of lubrication is needed, which manufacturer provides the highest quality components, and more. But one of the most important decisions is choosing the best material for the application. Most components can be made out of steel or bronze-plated steel, but there are several benefits to using solid aluminum bronze parts.
Consider a steel shaft/steel bushing combination. When used together, they tend to gall and wear out quickly. A bronze bushing avoids this. The reason is that bronze has, in addition to some natural lubricity, a property known as formability. If the assembled parts are not exactly aligned with the axis of motion, then the bronze will slightly redistribute itself to bring about a better alignment. This small shift reduces galling and wear dramatically, ultimately increasing service life.
Low Yield Strength
Aluminum bronze has a relatively low yield strength - the point at which a material reaches permanent deformation - at around 32,000 psi. Generally, a higher strength is deemed desirable for different applications. However, in the case of mold and die components, a slightly lower yield strength is actually preferred. Aluminum bronze components have just enough yield strength to allow them to adapt their form when needed, ultimately enabling the formality property mentioned above.
Low Coefficient of Friction
The coefficient of static friction for an aluminum bronze component (when mated with a hardened steel component) is between 0.10-0.16. A low coefficient of friction allows mating parts to move easily across one another. This reduces stress on the machine itself, as well as the components. Additionally, it increases the lifespan of the aluminum bronze part; with less stress and more ease of movement, the components virtually never wear down.
Aluminum bronze is one of the best bearing materials available due to its combination of characteristics, which is pretty tough to beat. Many component manufacturers, like SelfLube Mold & Die Components, prefer aluminum bronze for these reasons. When considering different bearing materials in the future, choose the one that will last: solid aluminum bronze.
SelfLube’s product line of over 10,000 standard part numbers includes wear plates, wear strips, bushings, gibs, and many other related items. SelfLube's full product line, along with downloadable CAD models, can be viewed online at www.selflube.com.