Bronze bushing

Environmental Safety of Using Bronze Bushings

by Kevin Sweeney
16 April, 2023
7 min read

Bronze Bushings are long lasting and are inherently resistant to wear and tear and have high load-bearing capacity. Bronze bushings are used in numerous industrial and commercial applications. Bronze Bushings are commonly used in electric motors, turbines, pumps, compressors, and endless other applications. SAE 660 cast bronze sleeve bearings are machined from continuous cast bronze providing a consistent composition throughout the bearing. The continuous casting process eliminates the chance for porosity and other flaws found in similar casting methods.

Applications for cast bronze include use as bearings, bushings, and washers
Applications for cast bronze include use as bearings, bushings, and washers

To decrease wear and friction, bronze bushings are frequently specified as a low-cost option. The use of bronze bushings has advantages that contribute to environmental sustainability.

In this article, we will discuss the advantages of bronze bushings for environmental sustainability, including their longevity and durability, energy efficiency, recyclability, and reduction of waste and emissions.

Environmental Impact of Bronze Bushings

Bronze bushings, like bearings, are a key component in machinery and equipment, providing a stable interface between moving parts. Using bronze bushings is a low-cost alternative to more precise and expensive ball or roller bearings. Bronze bushings carry heavy loads in compact spaces and are self-lubricating, reducing maintenance oversight.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of bronze bushings involves melting the raw materials and casting them into the desired shape. This process requires a significant amount of energy, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of pollution. In addition, the use of toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process can have negative effects on the environment. To reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing process, manufacturers can adopt more sustainable practices.

One approach is to use renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power to power the manufacturing process. Another approach is to use closed-loop manufacturing processes, where waste materials are recycled and reused in the manufacturing process.

Lead-Free Cast Bronze bar
Lead-Free Cast Bronze bar

Moreover, it is important to design equipment that minimizes the wear and tear on bronze bushings, which can extend their lifespan and reduce the need for replacements. This can reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing process and the disposal of the bushings.

Material Sourcing
The materials used to make bronze bushings, copper, and tin are mined from the earth. The mining process can have significant negative impacts on the environment, including soil erosion, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Mining operations also require a significant amount of energy, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Advantages of Bronze Bushings for Environmental Sustainability

Above is the lead-free continuous cast bronze bar known as FEDERALLOY® NO LEAD C89835. It is equivalent to standard CDA 932 or SAE 660. Bismuth has replaced lead in this bar, which eliminates environmental concerns during the machining or fabrication process.

To reduce the environmental impact of material sourcing, manufacturers can use recycled copper and tin in the production of bronze bushings. By using recycled materials, the need for new mining operations can be reduced, and the energy required to produce the bronze can be significantly lowered.
Adopting more sustainable practices in the manufacturing process and material sourcing, and by designing equipment that minimizes wear and tear on bronze bushings, this will help to mitigate their impact and ensure a more sustainable future.

Longevity and Durability

Because bronze bushings are renowned for their endurance and toughness, they do not require replacement as fast as other parts. This reduces the amount of waste generated by equipment and machinery, which can contribute to environmental sustainability. By reducing the need for replacements, the number of resources used in the manufacturing process is also reduced.

Energy Efficiency

Bushings made of bronze use less energy than those made of other materials. They work with less energy than other materials because they have a low coefficient of friction. This can lead to significant energy savings in equipment and machinery, reducing the environmental impact of energy consumption.


One of the primary advantages of bronze bushings for environmental sustainability is their recyclability. Bronze is a metal alloy composed of copper, tin, and other metals. This composition makes bronze a valuable material that can be easily recycled and reused without losing its original properties. In fact, bronze can be recycled indefinitely, which means that it can be melted down and repurposed multiple times without losing its strength or durability.

The ability of bronze bushings to be recycled has a big effect on the environment. It reduces the need for mining and extracting raw materials, which can be both energy and resource-intensive processes. Recycling bronze also helps reduce waste sent to landfills and minimizes the carbon footprint of the manufacturing industry.

Additionally, bronze is a low-friction material, which means that it requires less energy to operate and produces fewer emissions. This makes it an ideal material for use in heavy machinery, where energy efficiency is critical for reducing emissions and conserving energy.

Reduction of Waste and Emissions

Moreover, bronze bushings do not require any additional coatings or treatments, which can be harmful to the environment. Unlike other materials that require lubricants or chemical treatments to prevent corrosion, bronze bushings can operate without any additional treatments, reducing the amount of chemicals released into the environment.

Case Studies of Environmental Sustainability Using Bronze Bushings

Several companies have already implemented the use of bronze bushings as part of their commitment to environmental sustainability. For example, a manufacturer of large diesel engines was able to reduce its energy consumption by 10% and greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by switching to bronze bushings. Another company that produces pumps and valves was able to reduce its waste generation by 50% by using bronze bushings in its products.


Finally, using bronze bushings has many advantages for the environment, such as longevity and durability, energy economy, recyclability, and a decrease in waste and emissions. While the manufacturing process and material sourcing of bronze bushings may have negative environmental impacts, many companies are committed to responsible sourcing and waste reduction. Case studies have shown that the implementation of bronze bushings can result in significant energy savings, waste reduction, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, businesses and industries can consider the use of bronze bushings as a sustainable option for their equipment and machinery.

Contact us for further discussion and assistance for bronze bushings.

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Written by

Kevin Sweeney

Founder and CEO at Pacific International Bearing Sales Inc (PIB)
Education: BS Business and Economics California State University Hayward Ca
CBS (Certified Bearing Specialist)

My role with Pacific International Bearings (PIB) is currently CEO. Since 1976, I have been deeply involved in the bearing industry, working in manufacturing sales at NTN Bearing and subsequently in Bearing Distribution. Before establishing PIB in 1990, I gathered valuable experience in bearing manufacturing and distribution. The last 45 + years in the bearing industry have been both rewarding and challenging, assisting customers across a large number of diverse bearing applications.
Outside of the bearing industry, my interests are family, woodworking, motorcycling, cars, gardening, and golf.
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