Split Roller Bearings

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New Product Annoucement

From John Handley Bearings

Introducing JHB new range of cylindrical split roller bearings

John Handley Bearings (JHB) are launching a brand-new range of split bearings. This new range of split bearings is already creating quite a buzz within the bearings world with talk of vastly increased capacities through the use of innovative new components; indeed, EIGHT new patents have been filed for the various new parts within the unit. Take a look at the JHB Split Bearings and investigate just why it is causing such a stir within the industry.

Moving with the times

The split roller bearing is an industry stalwart. It is known throughout the engineering world for its ability to improve efficiency, reduce downtime, increase production and is admired for its time-saving attributes and simplicity of design. It is almost essential for applications where the bearing location is trapped or access is limited. However, with very few developments or upgrades since its invention in 1907 it is starting to lag behind an ever-increasing modern demand for higher capacities. With the monopoly for quality split roller bearings held by just a handful of large bearings companies, design engineers have had little choice but to work within certain parameters.

JHB look set to break this paradigm with a new product that does everything the original split bearing did whilst offering significantly more in the way of capacity, flexibility and simplicity of fitting & maintenance.

A Collaborative Approach

JHB is part of The Bowman Group of companies and has had the luxury of being able to partner with the 3D printing division of the group, Bowman Additive Production, to explore the possibility of how they might improve and innovate on a component whose design has remained largely unchanged for the better part of 110 years. The end product is something that is almost inconceivably advanced compared to anything currently available.

The entire split bearing has been designed around the bearing cage and the numbers are quite breathtaking; the patent-pending bearing cage, Rollertrain®, has an increased radial and axial capacity of up to 70% and 1000% higher than any other split bearing in the world. Indeed, the bearing cage has already been nominated for the prestigious Industrial Product Application Award at the annual TCT Awards. The dramatic capacity increases allow the JHB Split Bearing to replace three series of split bearings with a single series which covers almost all existing requirements.

Independent Axial Load

The rolling elements within current split bearings are unable to properly accommodate axial and radial loads independently; they only allow for a radial load with a significantly downgraded axial load capacity. The JHB Split Bearing is able to accommodate both loads independently and in so doing enables for the first time the calculation of an axial L10 life. This is a capability that was previously impossible and offers a new dimension of flexibility and design freedom.

Disrupting the market

It is very difficult to overstate the importance of these new bearings. JHB and Bowman have done what good innovators do and have taken an existing idea, added to it, made it more efficient and improved it exponentially. The bearing offers improvements and added value across the board compared to any other split bearing and genuinely has the potential to severely disrupt the market by offering design engineers a more flexible, durable and cost-effective alternative to the original split bearings currently available.


Bowman International- the source for bushings and bearings


The Rapid Response Team


We know that all applications are different and many applications need a completely bespoke solution. Bowman International offers a full machining service to meet all of your bespoke application requirements.

Our in-house facility enables rapid response to customers requiring modifications. We are also able to manufacture very large sized wrapped bearings.

Samples can be produced quickly for testing using production specification materials before committing to tooling.

This service includes:

  • Alteration of standard sintered components by changing bores, OD's and lengths as well as adding holes, grooves, flats etc.
  • Manufacture of sintered bearings from billets or cored bars; enabling specials to be provided and prototypes to be tested before committing to production tooling
  • Alteration of wrapped bearings
  • Manufacture of cast bronze bearings
  • Alteration of standard plastic bearings
  • Manufacture of plastic bearings from bars or tubes
  • Manufacture of shafts and allied parts

In-House Testing and Inspection

As part of our ongoing dedication to quality products, we have developed our own bespoke bearing test machine, providing an in-house facility that can determine bearing capabilities and provide fault analysis for plain bearings.

This means we are able to test bearings on behalf of our customers under their exact application conditions, with real time test data, remote computer operation and a bearing failure onset shutdown function. The machine has been designed to run automatically and can sense the onset of bearing failure, which triggers an automatic stop procedure. This enables the failure mode to be analysed.

We are able to test products dry and lubricated and accommodate a wide range of shaft diameters. We are also able to constantly gather data on test bearing temperature and torque measurement.

Our testing facilities are perfect for advising engineers when they may be unsure of the best solution and to validate material selection prior to production. We can now give our customers the peace of mind that they know for sure that the bearing they have selected has been tested in their specific application conditions. It removes, to a large extent, the uncertainty of selecting a bearing for a new project.

Our inspection facility guarantees the quality of each bearing that leaves our premises. Using the latest technologies, we rigorously inspect each product in the most minute detail to ensure all measurements and dimensions are correct.



The BowMet range has been billed as the biggest advance in plain bearings in more than 70 years by the industry press; and quite rightly so. This new range of heavy duty bearings offers a higher load capacity than any other proprietary plain bearing. Its heat, speed and corrosion capabilities combine to offer a heavy duty bearing that can stand up to even the harshest of conditions.

These heavy duty bearings have been developed using ToughMet® material by Materion in the USA. The ToughMet material that BowMet is made from was used on the Mars Rover in 2011, so that should give you some idea of just how ‘tough’ ToughMet is!

With a static load of 820 N/mm2 and an impressive PV factor of 9.6 these heavy duty bearings are ideally suited to a wide range of harsh industrial applications including:

  • Mining & quarrying
  • Heavy construction
  • Motorsport
  • Offshore oil & gas
  • Marine

The ToughMet material resists saltwater corrosion, hydrogen embrittlement and chloride stress-corrosion cracking better than most copper alloys. Indeed, in some sulphide environments, the corrosion rate is comparable to stainless steel and nickel alloys.

The capacity to deliver increased reliability, reduced downtime, lower maintenance costs and ultimately fewer warranty claims mean that BowMet range of heavy duty bearings really is nothing short of a revolution in bearing design and capability.

For more information on ToughMet® and Materion click here

StructureToughmet ® spinodal bronze with optional lubrication holes/indentationsMax PV – Dry (N/mm² x m/s)0.6Max PV – Oiled (N/mm² x m/s)9.6Max Static load (N/mm²)820Max Dynamic load (N/mm²)340Max Sliding speed – Dry (m/s)1.5Max Sliding speed – With Oil (m/s)5Operating temperature (°C)-250 to 300Thermal Conductivity (W/mk)38Coefficient of thermal expansion16.4 x 10-6/°CCoefficient of friction – Dry0.25Coefficient of friction – With Oil0.04Recommended shaft finish (Ra)0.4 max (N5)Recommended shaft hardness (HRC)60Hardness (HRC)30 minUltimate Tensile strength (N/mm²)860Yield strength (N/mm²)725Elongation (%)10Elastic modulus (N/mm²)144000


BowMet, outperforms steel, bronze and other bushing and bearing materials in extreme conditions. ToughMet alloys carries more load, lasts longer, requires less maintenance and virtually eliminates unplanned equipment repairs. ToughMet alloy provides a unique combination of properties, making it ideal for use in surface and underground mining, forestry, construction and manufacturing equipment:

  • High strength
  • Low friction
  • Excellent machinability
  • Galling, corrosion and wear resistant

ToughMet alloy comb




To minimize power losses in high performance power trains, engineers design components to be lightweight and easy to move. That means choosing structural materials that are strong and light weight and bearing materials such as ToughMet alloy that have low friction.


When used for bearings, thrust washers and valve guides, ToughMet alloy maintains tight clearances longer than self-lubricating materials that have 

HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing

Check out this great video about the technology Bowman is using to make parts for themselves and other customers

Split Bearings

Checkout more information about our 3D printing capabilities on our website www.Bowman.co.uk

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