Corrosion of Copper-Lead Alloy Sliding Bearings by Sulfur Compounds
Examination of a connecting-rod shell bearing from a six-cylinder gasoline engine was done after it was returned to the factory. Copper-lead alloy SAE 485 bonded to a low-carbon steel backing was used to make the bearing and the oil used in the engine was the recommended one. Measurable material loss was visible over most of the bearing halves particularly in a wide region at the centerline. A brittle waxlike substance identified to be a mixture of copper and lead sulfides covered the visible shallow pits and the darkened region. Change of oil with greater frequency to prevent the buildup of sulfur compounds or bearing halves that have corrosion-resistant overlay materials were recommended as best solutions.