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Blacksmithing and Metallurgy

Babbitt or Lead?


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  #1  
Old 12-20-2016, 03:47:18 PM
5hpGalloway 5hpGalloway is offline
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Default Babbitt or Lead?

Is there a way to tell Babbitt from lead I have quite a bit of what I hope is Babbitt that I picked up and I have no idea what one it is any help would be great. Thank you
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Old 12-20-2016, 03:53:25 PM
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KeithW KeithW is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead??

Specific gravity. Use a graduated container and scale to measure density. Babbit should be less dense.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:47:47 PM
Rob Charles Rob Charles is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead?

If you smack Babbitt with a hammer it usually is a lot harder than lead. Sometimes it even rings alittle depending on the alloy. Smack a chunk of known lead and compare. Rob
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:24:03 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead?

Any idea what the pieces were from? That might give a clue. There are several types of babbitt, and lord knows how many lead mixes. Any chance its Tin? I have no idea how to test accurately for any of these, but I bet there are ways.
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:56:29 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead?

I've never used leaded Babbitt, but the high speed Babbitt is hard, breaks leaving a crystalline look, lead is more plastic. I'm sure the melting point would be diferent, you can look up the specs on Babbitt.
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:42:22 PM
Archaeometrist Archaeometrist is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead?

If there is a junkyard nearby that has a portable XRF unit (rather common these days), they might zap it for you and tell you (roughly) what the composition is.

Alloys like Babbitt are generally based on standard mixtures (that have been used for many years), which means that they should be able to get close to the mix, if they have even moderately decent equipment.
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Old 12-20-2016, 08:57:20 PM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead?

I've been doing some research into this babbitt thing as I have to address some engine bearing repair on my Twin City 20-35. Generally speaking there seems to be 2 basic grades...lead base and tin base. There are many different alloy blends available in each grade. Low grade starts at nearly all lead and on the high end nearly all tin with little or no lead used. Each blend seems to have its suggested usage.

I learned a lot on this website:
http://stores.acrosales.com/babbitt/
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:25:34 PM
5hpGalloway 5hpGalloway is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead?

Thank you all for your input!! I found quite a bit of this Babbitt/lead in a dark forgotten corner at the machine shop I work at. My boss had no idea what it was or where it came from he had no use for it and I need to pour a rod bearing for my 15hp olin so I grabbed it probably 30 or 40 pounds of it easy hopefully its Babbitt!!!! I will let you know what I come up with thank you all!!!!
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:46:52 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead?

Tin based Babbitt will ring when struck and lead based will not, also tin based melts at a much higher temperature than lead based.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:11:17 AM
Mark Schneider Mark Schneider is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead?

Do the ingots have any manufacture insignia or other script on them?
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:08:46 AM
5hpGalloway 5hpGalloway is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead?

Not that I've seen a few of them are beet up real bad. some of them are the size of a muffin and the rest are in different shapes no markings
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:14:34 PM
DBH DBH is offline
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Talking Re: Babbitt or lead?

All old time babbit is lead based. Some has more tin than others. If you are re babbiting a Little Giant power hammer you should use a softer babbit has the hard babbit will tend to break up from the pounding.

DBH

---------- Post added at 11:14:34 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:13:25 AM ----------

Sorry for the bad spelling, I meant BABBITT! LOL
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:31:12 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or Lead?

I learned a lot from this page:

http://www.babbittrepair.com/babbitt...babbitt-chart/

Mostly, I was surprised by the SMALL difference in melting temperatures across the whole range of babbitts reported in their chart. 433 to 479.

Note that pure tin melts at: 450°F
And that pure lead melts at: 622°F
1167°F for Antimony,
and 1984°F for copper.

If there's a "take-away" for me:
Unless one has some really sophisticated temperature measuring capabilities, one needs some other way to determine the alloy.

Might be best to "bite the bullet" and buy new babbitt so you are sure.

From my experience, there's a lot of work entailed in rebabbitting a bearing, so the cost of materials becomes minor if you have to do it over.

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:21:05 PM
dalmatiangirl61 dalmatiangirl61 is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or Lead?

I wonder if a plain lead test kit could be used to determine if the babbitt is lead based, or tin based?
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:23:43 PM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or Lead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Spaco View Post
Note that pure tin melts at: 450°F
And that pure lead melts at: 622°F
1167°F for Antimony,
and 1984°F for copper.
Quite common for alloys to melt at lower temp than the pure metals. Know it is so for 60-40 lead-tin electronics solder, or even the 50-50 sheet metal and plumbers solder. Don't recall specific temps, but know it is much lower than pure lead.
Doc
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Old 01-27-2018, 12:12:50 AM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or Lead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
I wonder if a plain lead test kit could be used to determine if the babbitt is lead based, or tin based?
Tin based Babbitt will ring when struck, lead based just has a thud when struck.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:05:19 AM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or Lead?

Is there something that is not "off topic" but "just beside topic"?

Just a few days ago, a friend who casts his own bullets told me about a method of testing bullet hardness using pencils, the "Staedtler Scale". This came as a result of discussing the usefulness of wheel weights for bullet making and the variability of wheel weight material.

See this:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...s-with-pencils

I know this isn't directly related to babbitt, but it might have some utility.

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 01-27-2018, 02:08:00 PM
ronm ronm is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or lead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5hpGalloway View Post
Not that I've seen a few of them are beet up real bad. some of them are the size of a muffin and the rest are in different shapes no markings
And some of them are a work of art. . . I will have to be pretty desperate for babbitt before I melt these.
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Old 01-27-2018, 02:23:33 PM
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Default Re: Babbitt or Lead?

^ Yeah those belong in the 'guy curio cabinet'.
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Old 01-27-2018, 04:18:38 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Babbitt or Lead?

Clean a section of your ingots to bare metal. Try to scratch with your fingernail or a piece of soft wood, like a toothpick. if it scratches, chances are it is lead. Virgin lead is very soft. Babbitt is harder. The more tin in the metal, the harder it will be. The hammer test is a good one. If you strike with a small hammer, a dull thud is all you will get from lead. If you use the ball end of a ball-peen hammer, pure lead will dent deeply. Babbitt will not.
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