Friday, March 3, 2017

Weekend Steam: Pouring Babbitt Bearings

Here's a skill that everyone should have.  I learned about babbitt bearings when I was a kid, and have done it a few times.  That skill was important in my oilfield job, where I was expected to be able to pour wire rope sockets.  I did a bunch of those for a small fleet of pulling units and spudders, and none of them failed.  This video shows the process on a Minneapolis traction engine that is being overhauled.


John said...

Great video.
I never poured babbitt, but I have spent a fair amount of time in the Naval Shipyard with a scraper and Prussian Blue.
After a bearing scraping job, I would come home and my wife would almost always look at me and say, "Working with bluing today, weren't we?" And then she would remove the stray smears of blue from my face, or ear, or wherever.
For some babbitt bearings the upper cap would have thin shims that you could take out, then reblue and scrape to stretch the time between bearing replacement. Either I missed this, or they are not using this technique.

B said...

If they got that kind of spatter, they didn't preheat enough.

Look about 0:37. there are "Shim Packs" in the jig.

John said...

I missed that. I agree with the lack of preheat, and I am going to add that when you are moving a heavy ladle of liquid babbitt, you should spend more time on building your staging. I wasn't there at the pour, but when I worked in the steel mill I learned that too much protective equipment is just the right amount of protective equipment.