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How Carbon Graphite Bearings and Bushings Work

Helwig Carbon Team

Carbon graphite bearings and bushings are made to be self-lubricating so that they play an important role in applications where a traditional lubricant just won’t work. For example, in situations where there is a high temperature during operation, ordinary lubricants like grease or oil are often not an option. Other times contamination may be an issue to be concerned about, so you need a bushing or bearing that will not contaminate the item.

So what exactly is carbon graphite?

Carbon graphite is a material that is made up of carbon fibers that are bonded together and aligned. The material is often used to reinforce various composite materials, especially graphite. There are numerous grades and sizes of bushings and bearings available that are made from carbon graphite, and there are plenty of advantages to using parts that are made from this material.Here are some of the reasons you might consider using carbon graphite bushings or bearings:

  • They lubricate themselves.
  • Their coefficient of friction is very low.
  • They are non-galling.
  • They are able to stand up against corrosion, oxidation, and chemicals.
  • In many cases, they are compatible with a variety of uses in the pharmaceutical or food industries.
  • They have a low density.
  • Their coefficient of thermal expansion is very low.
  • They offer good thermal conduction.
  • They are very strong mechanically.
  • They stand up against high temperatures.

Of course knowing the advantages of carbon graphite for bearings is just the first step. It also helps to understand why they might be used instead of traditional lubricants. For example, we’ve already mentioned high temperatures, and any temperature over 400 degrees Fahrenheit would definitely warrant the use of carbon graphite bearings.

Environments that are especially corrosive are another place that carbon graphite bushings are the right solution, as are areas where conventional lubricants can cause contamination of the item you are trying to protect. Sometimes you might not even be able to get access to the area where lubrication is needed regularly, so in this case a self-lubricating solution like carbon graphite bushings is also ideal.

Other times you might have a situation that requires protection for the traditional lubricant and bearing. Once again, a carbon graphite bushing will help provide the protection as well as the lubrication. Pumps in various industries also use this type of bearing or bushing as well. Some examples are pumps in the chemical or food processing industries. Even hot and cold water pumps use carbon graphite bearings, as do cryogenic applications.

So there are numerous applications for carbon graphite bearings and bushings. No two situations are the same, so you need to talk to someone who knows the right answer to the problem you have. Only then will you be able to move forward with your project successfully.

Let the experts at Helwig Carbon help you find the right carbon graphite bearings or bushings for your next project. They will help you select the right product for your project. Only an expert who deals with this material each and every day will be able to help you sort out the details when it comes to choosing the right products. There are just too many intricacies for the average person to deal with in determining whether carbon graphite is even the right material to work with.


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