Development of a metallic running layer material for mechanically and thermally highly loaded hydrodynamic plain bearings


Angelika Kiefel © Copyright: IWM


Angelika Kiefel

Group Development Tool Materials


+49 241 80 95325




Due to the increasing demands on plain bearing materials, for example in terms of strength or wear resistance, it is necessary to find alternative bearing metal alloys that meet these requirements. In addition to the mechanical, physical and tribological properties, the economic efficiency and environmental compatibility of plain bearing materials is also becoming increasingly important. Currently, many bearing metals contain elements that are harmful to health and the environment, such as lead or antimony. Here, alloys must be found which consist of harmless elements, but whose properties are as good as or even better than the existing plain bearing materials. Starting from the reference alloy SnSb12Cu6ZnAg (brand name Tegostar), a tin-based white metal alloy, the project aims to develop a new alloy based on the environmentally friendly and cost-effective elements zinc, aluminium and copper, which have comparable emergency running properties but higher strengths and higher temperature stability. In addition, the improved properties allow the application limits of bearing metal alloys to be extended and new fields of application to be opened up.


  • Development of a bearing metal alloy based on the elements zinc, aluminium and copper, which shifts the current application limits of bearing metals for high-speed operation towards the heavy duty region
  • The alloy should be suitable for use at lubricating film temperatures of up to 180°C and have a 50% higher compressive strength at 100°C compared to the reference alloy Tegostar

Project contents

  • Alloy selection using thermodynamic calculations
  • Limiting the choice of alloy by investigating the casting behaviour in gravity die casting, microstructure analysis and investigation of the mechanical and physical properties (hardness, tensile and compressive strength, creep behaviour, thermal expansion)
  • Centrifugal casting of selected alloys and investigation of the cyclic material behaviour
  • Development of a bearing demonstrator
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