Babbitt bearings are found on motors, fans, pumps, turbines generators and other industrial equipment. The bearings are designed to support the weight of the shaft, while providing a non-damaging surface for the high speed rotating shaft. In a Babbitted bearing, the lining of the bearing is bonded with Babbitt (a low melting-point, soft alloy). In the event of a failure or contamination of the lubrication system, electric arcing, or just wear over time, the softer Babbitt alloy wears instead of the journal or shaft.

While nearly all Babbitt bearings are used in oil-lubricated systems, they have different design features depending on shaft speed, bearing load, shaft stability, bearing cooling, alignment problems and electrical insulating requirements, load and speed. Bearings can be fitted with vibration and temperature sensors and can even be water cooled as needed.

Babbitt bearings are a reliable part of equipment which runs for years and requires little maintenance and attention.