Sleeve bearing


Sleeve bearings are sometimes called journal, babbitt, or poured bearings.

Sleeve bearing equipment does not work well with mechanical seals. There is too much axial movement

They are non-precision bearings used in those applications that require a great deal of shaft axial movement or growth. They can be manufactured from babbitt, carbon, Teflon®, brass etc.

Sleeve or journal bearings allow some amount of imbedded dirt and contaminants without becoming significantly damaged, but they allow too much axial and radial movement for most mechanical seal applications.

In a vertical application they allow the lubricant to drain away.

The failure modes most commonly observed in sleeve bearings are:

  • Fatigue, because of cyclic loads normal to the bearing surface.
  • Wiping occurs in babbitt bearings if you experience a lubrication failure and get surface to surface contact.
  • Wear results from solids in the lubricant and is visible as scoring marks.
  • Overheating shows up as a discoloration on the surface of the babbitt or a glazing of carbon. Corrosion will also increase with an increase in the bearing temperature.
  • Corrosion is common with lead based babbitt reacting with the acids in some fluids


  • On February 17, 2018