Bearings and bushings made of brass, bronze and copper are used as load bearing members in machine tools and also for supporting long shafts with overhangs. They are used to prevent steel-to-steel contact of different machine tool elements, and keep the parts cool and lubricated. Brass, bronze and copper are soft materials and do not scratch the fine finished lapped shaft diameters. They can be easily and quickly machined on lathes or on drilling and milling machines.
Slots and grooves can be machined on the inner and outer diameters for lubrication. Bearings and bushings made from brass, bronze and copper can also be precision ground so they can be press- or slide-fit into close tolerance areas. Bimetal bearings in which the outer layer is made of tough wear-resistant material and the core made of gun metal, brass or bronze are extensively used in the components of the automobiles.
Copper, brass and bronze bushes or bearings can also be hardened with cold working processes, decomposition, treatment through solutions and precipitation hardening. These bushes can be press fit on a hydraulic press or fitted manually using mandrels and mallets.