At Melett, we understand the different methods used to produce thrust bearings and where possible incorporate design improvements over the original OEM design. In this case, the original K03/4 thrust bearings are produced using a stamped strip manufacturing process, however, Melett replacement K03/4 thrust bearings are produced from a hot forged method, creating a much stronger thrust bearing.
So, what does this mean?
Stamped Strip – Involves stamping the initial blanks out of a strip of brass material and is used for smaller thrust bearings. This method limits the strength of the material as this has to be weighed against the life of the stamping tool, an increase in strength in the material causes a massive reduction in tool life.
Hot Forging – is a more recent method of producing thrust bearings. A high tensile billet of brass material is heated to near melting and then pressed into a die to create a forged blank. This has the advantage that the material grain is pressed into the shape of the finished product and the material used can be much higher strength than stamped material. The recent turbo developments have increased pressures on the thrust surface, as such, many turbo manufacturers have moved to hot forged thrust bearings over the past decade. Where possible, Melett uses the hot forged method as we believe it produces a superior product.
Melett only uses the latest thrust bearing design in all CHRA.