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Additional recommended knowledge
Some of the metals that make up a white metal alloy are antimony, tin, lead, cadmium, bismuth, and zinc. Not all of these metals are found in all white metal alloys but are mixed to achieve a desired goal or need. An example would be for jewelry. You would need it to be castable, polishable, have good flow characteristics, have the ability to cast fine detail without an excessive amount of porosity and cast at between 230 °C and 300 °C (450 °F and 575 °F).
NOTE: In compliance with British law, the British fine art trade uses the term "white metal" in auction catalogues to describe foreign silver items which do not carry British Assay Office marks but which are nonetheless understood to be silver and are priced accordingly.
Tin-lead and tin-copper alloys
Tin-lead & tin-copper alloys have a low melting point that is ideal for use as solder, but these alloys also have ideal characteristics for plain bearings. Most importantly for bearings, the material should be hard and wear resistant and have a low coefficient of friction. It must also be shock resistant, tough and sufficiently ductile to allow for slight misalignment prior to running in.
Pure metals are soft, tough and ductile with a high coefficient of friction. Intermetallic compounds are hard and wear resistant but brittle. By themselves, these do not make ideal bearing materials.
Alloys consist of small particles of a hard compound embedded in the tough, ductile background of a solid solution. In service the latter can wear away slightly leaving the hard compound to carry the load. This wear also provides channels to allow in lubricant (oils). All bearing metals contain antimony (Sb) which forms hard cubic crystals.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "White_metal". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|