Buying Guide

Babbitt metals are a group of white metal alloys that exhibit excellent bearing characteristics. They are mixtures of Tin (Sn), Copper (Cu), Antimony (Sb) and Lead (Pb). Some alloys contain small amounts of other metals. They are named after Isaac Babbitt, who was granted the first patent for such a mixture in 1839. These alloys easily conform to the shape of the bearing shaft and easily hold a lubricant film. Contaminants that are not carried away in the lubricant are embedded below the soft surface and rendered harmless.

These unique characteristics are due to Babbitt’s hard/soft composition. For example, high-Tin Babbitt alloys are a soft solid matrix of Tin containing hard Copper-Tin needles and Antimony-Tin cuboids. The Tin surface will absorb a lubricant and hold a lubricant film. On a microscopic level, the bearing shaft will run along the matrix of harder needles and cuboids. Thus, the most important characteristics of bearing Babbitt are purity and consistency of the alloy (the hard/soft matrix), and properly and consistently bonding the Babbitt layer to the bearing shell.

It is critically important then to buy the best Babbitt available, as the cost of the Babbitt material is typically less than 8% of the total job cost. DuraKapp™ Babbitt combines special high grade virgin raw materials with a proprietary Precision Microcasting™ process to create the highest quality, most consistent Babbitt alloys available. This Buying Guide is designed to ensure you get the right Babbitt for your application, right now.

Understanding Babbitt

The selection of the right Babbitt metal for a given bearing is part science and part art. In the repair and rebuilding of an existing bearing, it is often most important to:

    1. match the original bearing Babbitt alloy, and
    2. properly prepare the bearing shell surface for this new Babbitt coating.

If one goal of the new Babbitt surface is to replace the old Lead-based Babbitt with a new higher strength environmentally-friendly Tin-based formulation, then removing all of the old Babbitt is crucial to getting a strong Babbitt bond to the bearing shell. It is important to note that changing the Babbitt formula for an existing bearing changes the forces and wear on the entire bearing – shell, lining, lubricant, etc. The discussion on the science of Babbitt selection is meant to educate, but also to emphasize that such changes should not be undertaken lightly. Changing the Babbitt formula in an existing bearing can lead to precisely the bearing failure you are working to avoid. Typical engineering data for several common Babbitt formulations is shown in the table below.

ASTM Alloy Number
Yield Point, psiD (MPa)
68°F(20°C) 212°F(100°C)
Johnson's Apparent Elastic Limit psi (MPa)E
68°F(20°C) 212°F(100°C)
Melting Point °F (°C) Proper Pouring Temp °F (°C)
1
4400 (30.3) 2650 (18.3)
2450 (16.9) 1050 (7.2)
433 (223) 825 (441)
2
6100 (42.0) 3000 (20.6)
3350 (23.1) 1100 (7.6)
466 (241) 795 (424)
3
6600 (45.5) 3150 (21.7)
5350 (36.9) 1300 (9.0)
464 (240) 915 (491)
7
3550 (24.5) 1600 (11.0)
2500 (17.2) 1350 (9.3)
464 (240) 640 (338)
8
3400 (23.4) 1750 (12.1)
2650 (18.3) 1200 (8.3)
459 (237) 645 (341)
D The values of yield point were taken from stress-strain curves at deformation of 0.125% of gage length


E Johnson's apparent elastic limit is taken as the unit stress at the point where the slope of the tangent to the curve is 2/3 times its slope in origin


The Science of Bearing Babbitt Selection

The engineering of a bearing’s Babbitt lining is usually completed during the design of the machine. In selecting the proper type of Babbitt for a particular job there are a number of factors to take into consideration, the most important of which are as follows:

    1. Surface speed of the shaft
    2. Load that the bearing is required to carry

There is no doubt that if a bearing is to be highly loaded in relation to its size, a high Tin alloy is desirable; whereas for much slower speed work and less heavily loaded bearings, a Lead-Based Babbitt may be employed, and is far more economical.

    1. Surface speed of the shaft: (The number of feet traveled per minute by the shaft circumferentially.)

      Formula: (Pi x D x RPM) / 12 = S

      Example: Determine the surface of a 2 inch diameter shaft going 1,400 RPM
      (Pi x D x RPM) / 12
      = (3.1416 x 2 x 1,400) / 12
      = 733.04 Ft/min

      Pi = 3.1416
      D = Diameter of Shaft
      RPM = Revolutions Per Minute
      S = Surface speed of the Shaft
    2. Load Bearing is required to carry: (The weight which is being exerted through the combined weights of the shaft and any other direct weights on the shaft and measured in pounds per square inch.)

      Formula: W / (I.D x L.O.B.)= L

      Example: Determine the load on a bearing of a 2 inch I.D bearing, 5 inches long and carrying a weight of 3,100 lbs
      W / (I.D x L.O.B.)
      = 3,100 / (2 x 5)
      = 310 Lbs/sq.in

      W = Total weight carried by bearing
      I.D = Inside diameter of bearing
      L.O.B = Length of Bearing
      L = Load bearing required to carry

The Art of Bearing Babbitt Selection

While not subject to precise calculations, the following considerations must also be taken into account:

    • Continuity of service
    • Bonding characteristics
    • Cooling facilities
    • Lubrication
    • Cleanliness
    • Maintenance schedule for the bearing in use

For example, a bearing in continuous use in a harsh environment without regular maintenance will require different Babbitt and lubrication than a bearing in intermittent use in a clean, light duty environment. This so-called art is really the condensation of the experience of the technician and the experience of the bearing being rebuilt.

If the bearing has performed well in use over many years, the bearing needs simply to be rebuilt to its original specification and formulation. In this case the technician’s greatest concerns are:

    1. Purity and consistency of the new Babbitt alloy,
    2. Bearing shell surface preparation,
    3. Bonding characteristics of the tinning compound and the Babbitt layer and,
    4. Babbitt bearing surface preparation and finish.

Surface Speed

  • If the surface speed of your product will be between minimum 1,000 FPM and a maximum of 2,400 FPM a Tin-Based Babbitt formulation is recommended.
  • If the surface speed of your product will be between a minimum 100 FPM and a maximum of 1,000 FPM a Lead-Based Babbitt formulation is recommended

Load Bearing

  • If the load on the bearing will be between a minimum100 and a maximum 2,000 PSI a Tin-Based Babbitt is recommended
  • If the load on the bearing will be between a minimum 100 and a maximum 500 PSI, a Lead-Based Babbitt is recommended.

  • There are many specific formulations for bearing Babbitt, each designed to meet the needs of specific bearings in use. However, Babbitt can be classified as either Tin-Based or Lead-Based according to the following table.
  • LIMITS
    Babbitt Classification
    Surface Speeds (fpm)
    MIN MAX
    LOAD (psi)
    MIN MAX
    Tin-Based Babbitts
    1000 2400
    100 500
    Lead-Based Babbitts
    100 1000
    100 500

    fpm = feet per minute, psi = pounds per square inch


    • Tin-Based Babbitt Alloys are primarily used for High Speed, High Pressure bearings. As most modern equipment and engines operate at high speeds, Tin-Based Babbitt bearings are far more common. To LEARN MORE about the names and ASTM formulations of common Tin-Based Babbitt Alloys at our Learning & Resource Center under Technical Specifications.
    • Lead-Based Babbitt Alloys are primarily used in low-speed, low-pressure applications. Lead-Based Babbitt bearings are encountered most often in the rebuild and restoration of antique engines, motors and compressors. Babbitt Direct specializes in providing the original Babbitt formulation for the restoration of Model “T” & Model “A” Fords. To LEARN MORE about the names and ASTM formulations of common Lead-Based Babbitt Alloys at our Learning & Resource Center under Technical Specifications.
  • Download Babbitt Classifications Guide

Depending on the formulation, Babbitt is available in Ingot, Notch Bar, Bar, Stick and wire form in a variety of sizes. Our most popular Tin-Based Babbitt Formulations; DuraKapp #1 & DuraKapp#2 are available in continuous spray wire on 25 lb. spools and 250 lb. payout packs for automated machine application.

What’s Important – Every little cost adds up.

Babbitt is used as a bearing material in equipment subject to significant heat, pressure, shock load and speed. They often operate in dusty, dirty, wet, and corrosive environments. The failure of a Babbitt bearing requires expensive repair and lengthy down-time. The proper application of Babbitt requires specialized & highly skilled processes. To avoid complications and hidden production related costs, take into consideration the following factors before buying Babbitt from any manufacturer.

When using spray wire to establish the Babbitt surface, it is very important to ensure a continuous flow of the wire. Inconsistent thickness and composition of metals/alloys can results in breaks in the wire. If the wire breaks and the flow is interrupted the consequences include:

    • Rework of improperly coated parts
    • Higher cost of scrap for parts not coated. This issue is compounded when automated equipment is used since a higher number of parts will likely have passed through improperly coated.
    • Lost productivity due to re-loading of the wire.

The Babbitt Direct Difference:
Babbitt Direct products are made exclusively by Kapp Alloy & Wire the world leader in the manufacture of BABBITT. Kapp Alloy uses high purity virgin raw materials and a proprietary Precision Micro Casting process to create the world’s strongest, most consistent Babbitt through thousands of miles of spray wire. Kapp has earned a 65-year reputation for reliable performance with customers, some of whom remain loyal to this day.

Impurities in the metal used for Babbitt spray wire will clog spray heads and require frequent replacement. The consequences of clogging are:

    • The cost of the replacement tip.
    • Lost production time for replacing the tip.
    • Impaired quality control
    • Cost of reworking inferior quality pieces
    • Scrap costs pieces ruined before automated machines can be shut down.
    • Frustration on the part of technicians attempting to use clogged equipment.

The Babbitt Direct Difference:
The high purity virgin raw materials and a proprietary Precision Micro casting process used to produce our Babbitt combine to dramatically reduce clogging of spray heads. Independent studies have indicated a 5 time reduction in the use of spray heads when Babbitt Direct spray wire is used.

Nothing will kill sales faster than a product that fails in the field. And when Babbitt fails on a product the solution can be costly on a number of levels.

    • Cost of field repair.
    • Downtime costs.

The Babbitt Direct Difference:
With Babbitt Direct you get a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Our product must meet your quality and performance expectations or you get your money back.

The quality of your end product is only as good as the materials that comprise it. That statement is even more important in the case of Babbitt which is typically used in high pressure, high temperature and high speed applications where failure can be very expensive. Material integrity and consistency to specification is critical. When these attributes are not present in the Babbitt you purchase the consequences can be:

    • Unanticipated failure
    • Shortened product life

The Babbitt Direct Difference:
All Kapp Alloy DuraKapp Babbitt formulations meet or exceed their engineering standards for specifications such as: ASTM B23, SAE, J460e and AA-T-390. We stand behind the performance of every shipment. Individual batch analysis is available for every order. And, with Babbitt Direct you get a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Our product must meet your quality and performance expectations you get your money back.

When it comes to Babbitt, the sticker price is often the smallest cost factor. If your company is concerned about production cost, consider the cost of downtime, rework, scrap and cleanup costs inherent in poorly produced Babbitt. With Babbitt Direct you can be sure of production cost ROI with every purchase.

The Babbitt Direct Difference:
You will find our products to be competitively priced and a value you can take to the bank. Talk to us about our test program. We are willing to go head to head with our competitors to back up our value claims.

We pride ourselves in being an indispensable resource for our customers. No question is too small and no challenge is too big. Our mission is to provide you with the right product at the right price at the right time. You will find our service to be as reliable as the product we provide.

What’s Your Application
  • Babbitt Direct can uniquely fulfill any specified formulation. Our proprietary Precision Micro Casting process ensures your custom formulation will be consistent throughout. With Babbitt Direct you can be sure.
    • Every formulation will meet or exceed ASTM, B23, SAE, J460e or QQ-T-390 engineering standard
    • Every order comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
    • Individual batch analysis are available with every order.

We make finding the Babbitt you are looking for easy.

Find Your Babbitt.

IF you know the ASTM-B23 grade you need, simply type in the grade you are looking for here (ASTM GRADE) OR, find your grade in the charts below.

Tin-Based Spray Wire Babbitt ASTM Grades
ASTM B23 Grade BABBIT DIRECT PRODUCT QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 1 DuraKapp™ #1
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No. 1 90.0 – 92.0 4.0 – 5.0 4.0 – 5.0 0.35 Max.
Grade 2 DuraKapp™ #2
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No. 2 88.0 - 90.0 7.0 – 8.0 3.0 – 4.0 0.35 Max.
Grade 3 DuraKapp™ #3
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No.3 83.0 – 85.0 7.5 – 8.5 7.5 – 8.5 0.35 Max.
Grade 4X DuraKapp™ #4x
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NA 88.0 - 89.0
0.2 - 0.6%
Nickel
7.0 – 8.0 3.0 – 4.0 0.35 Max.
Eco Babbitt Kapp EcoBabbitt™
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NA 89.0 - 91.0
0.2 - 0.6%
Zinc
0.35 Mac 2.5 – 3.5 0.35 Max.
Grade 4 DuraKapp™ #4
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NA 74.0 – 76.0 11.0 – 13.0 2.5 – 3.5 9.3 – 10.7
Grade 11 DuraKapp™ #11
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NA 86.0 – 89.0 6.0 – 7.5 5.0 – 6.5 0.35 Max


LEAD-BASED BABBITT ASTM Grades
ASTM B23 Grade BABBIT DIRECT PRODUCT QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 7 DuraKapp™ #7
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No. 7 9.3 – 10.7 14.0 – 16.0 0.50 Max Balance
Grade 8 DuraKapp™ #8
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No. 6 4.5 – 5.5 14.0 – 16.0 0.50 Max Balance
Grade 13 DuraKapp™ #13
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NA 5.5 – 6.5 9.5 – 10.5 0.50 Max Balance
Grade 15 DuraKapp™ #15
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No.10 0.8 – 1.2 14.5 – 17.5 B0.50 Max Balance

If you know the Babbit by name simply find the Babbit you need in the charts below to start your purchase.

Tin-Based Spray Wire Babbitt ASTM Grades
INDUSTRY NAME: QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Marine 11 D
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90.0 – 92.0 4.5 – 5.5 3.5 – 4.5 0.35 Max.
DuraKapp™ #1
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No. 1 90.0 – 92.0 4.5 – 5.5 3.5 – 4.5 0.35 Max.
NF A 56-101 (Code 101)
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89.0 – 91.0 5.75 – 7.25 2.75 – 4.25 0.35 (Max.)
NF A56-101 (Code 111)
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89.0 – 91.0 5.75 – 7.25 2.75 – 4.25 0.10 (Max.)
Marine 11 R
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89.0 – 89.5 7.5 – 8.5 2.5 – 3.0 0.35 (Max.)
Nickel Genuine, DuraKapp™ #2
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No.2 88.0 – 90.0 7.0 – 8.0 3.0 – 4.0 0.35 (Max.)
Marine 11M
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88.0 - 90.0 5.5 - 6.0 5.0 - 5.5 0.35 (Max.)
4X Royal Nickel Genuine, DuraKapp 4X
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87.5 - 89.5 7.25 - 7.75 3.25 - 3.75 0.35 (Max.)
Diesel Special
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87.5 - 88.0 6.5 - 7.0 5.0 - 6.0 0.35 (Max.)
NF A 56-101 (Code 102)
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87.0 - 89.0 6.75 - 8.25 2.75 - 4.25 0.35 (Max.)
NF A 56-01 (Code 112)
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87.0 - 89.0 6.75 - 8.25 2.75 - 4.25 0.10(Max.)
Grade 11, DuraKapp™ #11
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86.0 - 89.0 6.0 - 7.5 5.0 - 6.5 0.35 (Max.)
SAE 11
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85.0 - 87.0 7.0 - 8.0 6.0 - 7.0 0.35 (Max.)
Imperial Genuine
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85.0 - 87.0 6.5 - 7.5 6.5 - 7.5 0.35 (Max.)
Turbine
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84.0 - 86.0 6.5 - 7.5 7.5 - 8.5 0.35 (Max.)
Royal Armature
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83.5 - 84.0 8.0 - 8.5 7.5 - 8.5 0.35 (Max.)
Super Tough, DuraKapp™ #3
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#No.3 83.0 - 85.0 7.5 - 8.5 7.5 - 8.5 0.35 (Max.)
NF A 56-101 (Code 103)
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82.0 - 84.0 10,25 - 11.75 5.25 - 6.75 0.35 (Max.)
NF A 56-101 (Code 113)
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82.0 - 84.0 10,25 - 11.75 5.25 - 6.75 0.10 (Max.)
NF A 56-101 (Code 104)
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79.0 - 81.0 9.25 - 10.75 9.25 - 10.75 0.35 (Max.)
NF A 56-101 (Code 114)
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79.0 - 81.0 9.25 - 10.75 9.25 - 10.75 0.10 (Max.)
NF A 56-101 (Code 106)
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79.0 - 81.0 11.25 - 12.75 5.0 - 7.0 1.5 - 2.5
NF A 56-101 (Code 105)
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77.0 - 70.0 12.25 - 13.75 8.25 - 9.75 0.35 (Max.)
NF A 56-101 (Code 115)
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77.0 - 70.0 12.25 - 13.75 8.25 - 9.75 0.10 (Max.)
Grade 4, DuraKapp™ #4
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74.0 - 76.0 11.0 - 13.0 2.5 - 3.5 9.3 - 10.7
NF A 56-101 (Code 107)
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73.0-75.0 6.00 - 8.00 3.00 - 5.00 3.00 - 5.00

LEAD-BASED BABBITT by Name
INDUSTRY NAME: QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Choker
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N/A 6.5 - 7.7 92.0 - 94.0 0.20
DuraKapp™ #15
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No. 10 0.8 - 1.2 14.5 - 17.5 Balance 0.8-1.4
Hardware No.4
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1.0 - 2.0 12.3 - 14.3 84.2 - 86.2 0.20
Silverstone
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1.0-3.0 17.5 -18.5 Balance 0.25 (Max.)
No.13
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No.13 4.0 - 6.0 8.0 - 10.0 83.0 - 88.0 0.20
Mill Anchor
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4.0 - 6-0 11.5 - 12.5 Balance 0.25 (Max,)
Royal, DuraKapp™ #8
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No. 6 4.5 - 5.5 14.0 - 16.0 Balance 0.30 - 0.60
Star
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5.0 - 5.5 13.5 - 14.5 Balance 0.30 - 0.60
NF A 56-101 (Code 201)
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5.0 - 7.0 14.0 - 16.0 77.0 - 79.0 (0.5 - 1.0Cu)
Grade13, DuraKapp™ #13
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5.5 - 6.5 9.5 - 10.5 Balance 0.25 (Max.)
NF A 56-101 (Code 202)
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9.0 - 10.5 14.0 - 16.0 74.0 - 76.0 (0.5 - 1.0 Cu)
No.11
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No.11 9.0 - 11.0 11.5 - 13.5 74.0 - 79.0 0.20
Saw Guide
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9.0 - 11.0 18.5 - 19.5 Balance 0.25 (Max)
Heavy Pressure-DuraKapp™ #7
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No.7 9.3 - 10.7 14.0 - 16.0 Balance 0.30 - 0.60
Repairs & Rebuilding

Successful repair or rebuilding of Babbitt starts with identification of the original formulation for the application intended. This is a critical step. If the original formulation/technical documentation is not Babbitt Direct will work with you to determine the original formulation and provide specific instruction for surface prep critical to the success of your repair/rebuild.

Babbitt Direct is known worldwide as the preferred source for original Model “T” & Model “A” Ford Babbitt formulation. Count on us not only for the Babbitt you need but for help understanding the correct application process to ensure the success of your restoration project.

Color Key
Best Choice Suitable For Task Could Be Used But Not Advised
  • Air Compressor

    • Piston bearings
DuraKapp™ #2 Formulation
ASTM B23 QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 2 No.2 88.0 – 90.0 7.0 – 8.0 3.0 – 4.0 0.35 (Max.)

  • Electronic Capacitors

    • Sealant for capacitor ends
DuraKapp™ #2 Formulation
ASTM B23 QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 2 No.2 88.0 – 90.0 7.0 – 8.0 3.0 – 4.0 0.35 (Max.)

  • Marine Application

    • Propeller Shafts
  • ALL TIN-Based Babbit is appropriate

  • Automotive

    • Crankshaft bearings
  • ALL TIN-Based Babbit is appropriate

  • Electric Generators

DuraKapp™ #2 Formulation
ASTM B23 QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 2 No.2 88.0 – 90.0 7.0 – 8.0 3.0 – 4.0 0.35 (Max.)

DuraKapp™ #1 Formulation
ASTM B23 QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 1 No. 1 90.0 – 92.0 4.0 – 5.0 4.0 – 5.0 0.35 (Max)

DuraKapp™ #3 Formulation
ASTM B23 QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 3 No.3 83.0 – 85.0 7.5 – 8.5 7.5 – 8.5 0.35 (Max)

  • Electric Motors

DuraKapp™ #2 Formulation
ASTM B23 QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 2 No.2 88.0 – 90.0 7.0 – 8.0 3.0 – 4.0 0.35 (Max.)

DuraKapp™ #1 Formulation
ASTM B23 QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 1 No. 1 90.0 – 92.0 4.0 – 5.0 4.0 – 5.0 0.35 (Max)

DuraKapp™ #3 Formulation
ASTM B23 QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 3 No.3 83.0 – 85.0 7.5 – 8.5 7.5 – 8.5 0.35 (Max)

  • Rolling Mills/Steel Mills

DuraKapp™ #1 Formulation
ASTM B23 QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 1 No. 1 90.0 – 92.0 4.0 – 5.0 4.0 – 5.0 0.35 (Max)

DuraKapp™ #2 Formulation
ASTM B23 QQ-T-90A Sn (Tin) Sb (Antimony) Cu (Copper) Pb (Lead)
Grade 2 No.2 88.0 – 90.0 7.0 – 8.0 3.0 – 4.0 0.35 (Max.)

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