Understanding Bronze Bushes.
Cast bronze vs. Oilite bronze. What is the difference?
Phosphor bronze or Oilite?
There is a common misconception that Oilite is made from phosphor bronze. Even some re-sellers of oilite refer to it as sintered phosphor bronze.
Phosphor is generally added to make molten bronze flow better when casting, Oilite is made from tin bronze without the phosphor additive as its addition would not assist in the sintering process.
Manganese Bronze and Oilite sintered bronze, what is the link?
Another material commonly confused with Oilite is manganese bronze, not due to appearance, or similar applications, rather because the company who used to make Oilite was called Manganese Bronze:
From the 1930’s Oilite was manufactured in the UK by Manganese Bronze. This only changed in 2003 when the sintering division was sold off.
The material; manganese bronze, is actually a brass (copper and zinc alloy), hardened with manganese.
Bizarrely Manganese Bronze Holdings PLC who once made Oilite is now best known for making the iconic London Taxis.
Brass bearing or Bronze bearing?
Bronze bushings are often referred to as Brass bearings. In reality, bearings are rarely made from Brass (copper and zinc alloys). Brass is highly malleable and generally has a lighter, more golden colour and is used in door furniture, and musical instruments. Bronzes, (copper and tin alloys) are generally a darker colour and have better bearing properties (they are, on the whole, both stronger and have lower coefficients of friction).
In reality the important question is more often: What grade or bronze?, rather than , is it brass or bronze?