Lignum Vitae has been the Gold standard in Hydro water lubricated bearings for over 130 years.

There is no other bearing that has been in existence longer or with more real world experience. We can help guide design decisions that will add longevity, reliability, remove all threat of oil and grease and value engineer to ensure decades of flawless operation.

Lignum Vitae (Guaiacum Sanctum)

Common Name(s):

 Lignum Vitae

Scientific Name:

 Guaiacum Sanctum

Tree Size:

 20-30 ft (6-10 m) tall, 1-2 ft (.3-.6 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight:

 84 lbs/ft3 (1,350 kg/m3)

Basic Specific Gravity:



 4,500 on Janka scale (20,020 N)

Rupture Strength:

 17,760 lb/in2 (122,490 kPa)

Elastic Strength:

 2,304,000 lbf/in2 (15,890 MPa)

Coefficient of Friction:



Heartwood color is green with cream colored sapwood. Grain has a woven feathered pattern that contributes to high compression values.


Lignum Vitae has a fine texture and closed pores that can be polished to a fine luster due to its high natural resin content. The grain is interlocked and extremely tight.

End grain:

Diffuse-porous; small pores in no specific arrangement; exclusively solitary; no silica present; growth rings usually indistinct; rays not visible without lens.


Lignum Vitae is an exceptional wood for turning on the lathe, machines to a high polish and finishes well.


Lignum Vitae is a unique bearing with the ability to operate with mixed mode lubrication properties, direct and hydrodynamic perfect for startup and shut down. Lignum-Vitae is a perfect combination of hardness and lubricity known to be the most steel friendly. Lignum Vitae has no silica or abrasives present. Its durability in submerged applications is exceptional and is not water soluble so it cannot be washed out. Lignum-Vitae has a natural guaiac resin that provides self-lubrication giving the wood excellent wear resistance.