DESIGN INNOVATION is a LM-Tarbell Hallmark
Since 1938, LM-Tabell has
been involved in many
ground breaking plain bearing applications. In the late
1970's, we were asked to design a special bearing
which would be employed in GE's new F404 engine -
powering a new fighter, the F18. Traditionally, Vespel
SP series bearings were used in the compressor
vane/shroud assembly. However, on the F404, one
stage of the compressor reached temps which
exceeded the range of Vespel. Another reason
Vespel was popular was its lightweight.
Tarbell engineers decided on a CABOT powdered
metal additive called Triboloy. We alloyed 15%
of Triboloy with a host stainless steel powdered
metal. We then took the pm part and machined it.
Machining was critical because the part work hardened
as it was machined - one mistake and it was scrap.
There was loud dissent by GE and the Navy because
of the bearing's weight. However, it worked and it is
still a mainstay on the F404. The bearing can see
temps of over 1000 F and after 600 F it creates its
own self lubricating oxides. We have alloyed sintered
bronze with Triboloy® and made SUPER BUSHINGS!
LM-Tarbell is a Flying Parts Certified supplier to: GE (AEG),
Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky Aircraft, Hamilton Standard.