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metric end mills|many metric end mill sizes

metric end mills|many metric end mill sizes

Metric mills have metric sized cutting diameters and shanks. They are commonly used in automotive, and aerospace milling applications. They are available in general purpose and high performance geometries. Our complete catalog of metric end mills is listed below. Primarily, these are found under the categories of square end mills, ball end mills, and variable flute end mills. They are available in diameters form 1mm to 25mm. They come in 2 flute and 4 flute geometries, and they come as solid carbide with coatings of AlTiN and TiN.

ball milling - an overview | sciencedirect topics

ball milling - an overview | sciencedirect topics

Ball milling is often used not only for grinding powders but also for oxides or nanocomposite synthesis and/or structure/phase composition optimization [14,41]. Mechanical activation by ball milling is known to increase the material reactivity and uniformity of spatial distribution of elements [63]. Thus, postsynthesis processing of the materials by ball milling can help with the problem of minor admixture forming during cooling under air after high-temperature sintering due to phase instability.

Ball milling technique, using mechanical alloying and mechanical milling approaches were proposed to the word wide in the 8th decade of the last century for preparing a wide spectrum of powder materials and their alloys. In fact, ball milling process is not new and dates back to more than 150 years. It has been used in size comminutions of ore, mineral dressing, preparing talc powders and many other applications. It might be interesting for us to have a look at the history and development of ball milling and the corresponding products. The photo shows the STEM-BF image of a Cu-based alloy nanoparticle prepared by mechanical alloying (After El-Eskandarany, unpublished work, 2014).

Ball milling, a shear-force dominant process where the particle size goes on reducing by impact and attrition mainly consists of metallic balls (generally Zirconia (ZrO2) or steel balls), acting as grinding media and rotating shell to create centrifugal force. In this process, graphite (precursor) was breakdown by randomly striking with grinding media in the rotating shell to create shear and compression force which helps to overcome the weak Vander Waal's interaction between the graphite layers and results in their splintering. Fig. 4A schematic illustrates ball milling process for graphene preparation. Initially, because of large size of graphite, compressive force dominates and as the graphite gets fragmented, shear force cleaves graphite to produce graphene. However, excessive compression force may damage the crystalline properties of graphene and hence needs to be minimized by controlling the milling parameters e.g. milling duration, milling revolution per minute (rpm), ball-to-graphite/powder ratio (B/P), initial graphite weight, ball diameter. High quality graphene can be achieved under low milling speed; though it will increase the processing time which is highly undesirable for large scale production.

Fig. 4. (A) Schematic illustration of graphene preparation via ball milling. SEM images of bulk graphite (B), GSs/E-H (C) GSs/K (D); (E) and (F) are the respective TEM images; (G) Raman spectra of bulk graphite versus GSs exfoliated via wet milling in E-H and K.

Milling of graphite layers can be instigated in two states: (i) dry ball milling (DBM) and (ii) wet ball milling (WBM). WBM process requires surfactant/solvent such as N,N Dimethylformamide (DMF) [22], N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) [26], deionized (DI) water [27], potassium acetate [28], 2-ethylhexanol (E-H) [29] and kerosene (K) [29] etc. and is comparatively simpler as compared with DBM. Fig. 4BD show the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of bulk graphite, graphene sheets (GSs) prepared in E-H (GSs/E-H) and K (GSs/K), respectively; the corresponding transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images and the Raman spectra are shown in Fig. 4EG, respectively [29].

Compared to this, DBM requires several milling agents e.g. sodium chloride (NaCl) [30], Melamine (Na2SO4) [31,32] etc., along with the metal balls to reduce the stress induced in graphite microstructures, and hence require additional purification for exfoliant's removal. Na2SO4 can be easily washed away by hot water [19] while ammonia-borane (NH3BH3), another exfoliant used to weaken the Vander Waal's bonding between graphite layers can be using ethanol [33]. Table 1 list few ball milling processes carried out using various milling agent (in case of DBM) and solvents (WBM) under different milling conditions.

Ball milling of graphite with appropriate stabilizers is another mode of exfoliation in liquid phase.21 Graphite is ground under high sheer rates with millimeter-sized metal balls causing exfoliation to graphene (Fig. 2.5), under wet or dry conditions. For instance, this method can be employed to produce nearly 50g of graphene in the absence of any oxidant.22 Graphite (50g) was ground in the ball mill with oxalic acid (20g) in this method for 20 hours, but, the separation of unexfoliated fraction was not discussed.22 Similarly, solvent-free graphite exfoliations were carried out under dry milling conditions using KOH,23 ammonia borane,24 and so on. The list of graphite exfoliations performed using ball milling is given in Table 2.2. However, the metallic impurities from the machinery used for ball milling are a major disadvantage of this method for certain applications.25

Reactive ball-milling (RBM) technique has been considered as a powerful tool for fabrication of metallic nitrides and hydrides via room temperature ball milling. The flowchart shows the mechanism of gas-solid reaction through RBM that was proposed by El-Eskandarany. In his model, the starting metallic powders are subjected to dramatic shear and impact forces that are generated by the ball-milling media. The powders are, therefore, disintegrated into smaller particles, and very clean or fresh oxygen-free active surfaces of the powders are created. The reactive milling atmosphere (nitrogen or hydrogen gases) was gettered and absorbed completely by the first atomically clean surfaces of the metallic ball-milled powders to react in a same manner as a gas-solid reaction owing to the mechanically induced reactive milling.

Ball milling is a grinding method that grinds nanotubes into extremely fine powders. During the ball milling process, the collision between the tiny rigid balls in a concealed container will generate localized high pressure. Usually, ceramic, flint pebbles and stainless steel are used.25 In order to further improve the quality of dispersion and introduce functional groups onto the nanotube surface, selected chemicals can be included in the container during the process. The factors that affect the quality of dispersion include the milling time, rotational speed, size of balls and balls/ nanotube amount ratio. Under certain processing conditions, the particles can be ground to as small as 100nm. This process has been employed to transform carbon nanotubes into smaller nanoparticles, to generate highly curved or closed shell carbon nanostructures from graphite, to enhance the saturation of lithium composition in SWCNTs, to modify the morphologies of cup-stacked carbon nanotubes and to generate different carbon nanoparticles from graphitic carbon for hydrogen storage application.25 Even though ball milling is easy to operate and suitable for powder polymers or monomers, process-induced damage on the nanotubes can occur.

Ball milling is a way to exfoliate graphite using lateral force, as opposed to the Scotch Tape or sonication that mainly use normal force. Ball mills, like the three roll machine, are a common occurrence in industry, for the production of fine particles. During the ball milling process, there are two factors that contribute to the exfoliation. The main factor contributing is the shear force applied by the balls. Using only shear force, one can produce large graphene flakes. The secondary factor is the collisions that occur during milling. Harsh collisions can break these large flakes and can potentially disrupt the crystal structure resulting in a more amorphous mass. So in order to create good-quality, high-area graphene, the collisions have to be minimized.

The ball-milling process is common in grinding machines as well as in reactors where various functional materials can be created by mechanochemical synthesis. A simple milling process reduces both CO2 generation and energy consumption during materials production. Herein a novel mechanochemical approach 1-3) to produce sophisticated carbon nanomaterials is reported. It is demonstrated that unique carbon nanostructures including carbon nanotubes and carbon onions are synthesized by high-speed ball-milling of steel balls. It is considered that the gas-phase reaction takes place around the surface of steel balls under local high temperatures induced by the collision-friction energy in ball-milling process, which results in phase separated unique carbon nanomaterials.

Conventional ball milling is a traditional powder-processing technique, which is mainly used for reducing particle sizes and for the mixing of different materials. The technique is widely used in mineral, pharmaceutical, and ceramic industries, as well as scientific laboratories. The HEBM technique discussed in this chapter is a new technique developed initially for producing new metastable materials, which cannot be produced using thermal equilibrium processes, and thus is very different from conventional ball milling technique. HEBM was first reported by Benjamin [38] in the 1960s. So far, a large range of new materials has been synthesized using HEBM. For example, oxide-dispersion-strengthened alloys are synthesized using a powerful high-energy ball mill (attritor) because conventional ball mills could not provide sufficient grinding energy [38]. Intensive research in the synthesis of new metastable materials by HEBM was stimulated by the pioneering work in the amorphization of the Ni-Nb alloys conducted by Kock et al. in 1983 [39]. Since then, a wide spectrum of metastable materials has been produced, including nanocrystalline [40], nanocomposite [41], nanoporous phases [42], supersaturated solid solutions [43], and amorphous alloys [44]. These new phase transformations induced by HEBM are generally referred as mechanical alloying (MA). At the same time, it was found that at room temperature, HEBM can activate chemical reactions which are normally only possible at high temperatures [45]. This is called reactive milling or mechano-chemistry. Reactive ball milling has produced a large range of nanosized oxides [46], nitrides [47], hydrides [48], and carbide [49] particles.

The major differences between conventional ball milling and the HEBM are listed in the Table 1. The impact energy of HEBM is typically 1000 times higher than the conventional ball milling energy. The dominant events in the conventional ball milling are particle fracturing and size reductions, which correspond to, actually, only the first stage of the HEBM. A longer milling time is therefore generally required for HEBM. In addition to milling energy, the controls of milling atmosphere and temperature are crucial in order to create the desired structural changes or chemical reactions. This table shows that HEBM can cover most work normally performed by conventional ball milling, however, conventional ball milling equipment cannot be used to conduct any HEBM work.

Different types of high-energy ball mills have been developed, including the Spex vibrating mill, planetary ball mill, high-energy rotating mill, and attritors [50]. In the nanotube synthesis, two types of HEBM mills have been used: a vibrating ball mill and a rotating ball mill. The vibrating-frame grinder (Pulverisette O, Fritsch) is shown in Fig. 1a. This mill uses only one large ball (diameter of 50 mm) and the media of the ball and vial can be stainless steel or ceramic tungsten carbide (WC). The milling chamber, as illustrated in Fig. 1b, is sealed with an O-ring so that the atmosphere can be changed via a valve. The pressure is monitored with an attached gauge during milling.

where Mb is the mass of the milling ball, Vmax the maximum velocity of the vial,/the impact frequency, and Mp the mass of powder. The milling intensity is a very important parameter to MA and reactive ball milling. For example, a full amorphization of a crystalline NiZr alloy can only be achieved with a milling intensity above an intensity threshold of 510 ms2 [52]. The amorphization process during ball milling can be seen from the images of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in Fig. 2a, which were taken from samples milled for different lengths of time. The TEM images show that the size and number of NiZr crystals decrease with increasing milling time, and a full amorphization is achieved after milling for 165 h. The corresponding diffraction patterns in Fig. 2b confirm this gradual amorphization process. However, when milling below the intensity threshold, a mixture of nanocrystalline and amorphous phases is produced. This intensity threshold depends on milling temperature and alloy composition [52].

Figure 2. (a) Dark-field TEM image of Ni10Zr7 alloy milled for 0.5, 23, 73, and 165 h in the vibrating ball mill with a milling intensity of 940 ms2. (b) Corresponding electron diffraction patterns [52].

Fig. 3 shows a rotating steel mill and a schematic representation of milling action inside the milling chamber. The mill has a rotating horizontal cell loaded with several hardened steel balls. As the cell rotates, the balls drop onto the powder that is being ground. An external magnet is placed close to the cell to increase milling energy [53]. Different milling actions and intensities can be realized by adjusting the cell rotation rate and magnet position.

The atmosphere inside the chamber can be controlled, and adequate gas has to be selected for different milling experiments. For example, during the ball milling of pure Zr powder in the atmosphere of ammonia (NH3), a series of chemical reactions occur between Zr and NH3 [54,55]. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns in Fig. 4 show the following reaction sequence as a function of milling time:

The mechanism of a HEBM process is quite complicated. During the HEBM, material particles are repeatedly flattened, fractured, and welded. Every time two steel balls collide or one ball hits the chamber wall, they trap some particles between their surfaces. Such high-energy impacts severely deform the particles and create atomically fresh, new surfaces, as well as a high density of dislocations and other structural defects [44]. A high defect density induced by HEBM can accelerate the diffusion process [56]. Alternatively, the deformation and fracturing of particles causes continuous size reduction and can lead to reduction in diffusion distances. This can at least reduce the reaction temperatures significantly, even if the reactions do not occur at room temperature [57,58]. Since newly created surfaces are most often very reactive and readily oxidize in air, the HEBM has to be conducted in an inert atmosphere. It is now recognized that the HEBM, along with other non-equilibrium techniques such as rapid quenching, irradiation/ion-implantation, plasma processing, and gas deposition, can produce a series of metastable and nanostructured materials, which are usually difficult to prepare using melting or conventional powder metallurgy methods [59,60]. In the next section, detailed structural and morphological changes of graphite during HEBM will be presented.

Ball milling and ultrasonication were used to reduce the particle size and distribution. During ball milling the weight (grams) ratio of balls-to-clay particles was 100:2.5 and the milling operation was run for 24 hours. The effect of different types of balls on particle size reduction and narrowing particle size distribution was studied. The milled particles were dispersed in xylene to disaggregate the clumps. Again, ultrasonication was done on milled samples in xylene. An investigation on the amplitude (80% and 90%), pulsation rate (5 s on and 5 s off, 8 s on and 4 s off) and time (15 min, 1 h and 4 h) of the ultrasonication process was done with respect to particle size distribution and the optimum conditions in our laboratory were determined. A particle size analyzer was used to characterize the nanoparticles based on the principles of laser diffraction and morphological studies.

the 10 best pepper mills in 2021

the 10 best pepper mills in 2021

There's nothing like freshly ground pepper to top off your meal. It can turn what could have been just a pretty good meal into a flavor-packed one. But is there really such a big difference between pre-ground and freshly ground peppercorns when it comes to spicing up your cooking? Yes, it turns out. Once spices are ground, they start to oxidize and their aromatics evaporate quickly, so you'll get the most flavor and aroma out of them when they're ground right before you prepare or consume your meal.

But not all pepper mills are made the same. The difference between a cheaply made pepper mill and a higher-quality one can mean inconsistent grinds, clogged or loose grinding mechanisms, and pepper spilled everywhere. So how's one to choose?

While most grinders have their grinding mechanism on the bottom, this one has the grinder on top when its not in use so you wont be leaving bits of ground pepper behind when you set the grinder down. The coarseness selector is easy to see on the side of the grinder and easy to adjust, so you can grind fine pepper on your salad, then quickly switch to coarsely ground pepper to coat your steakall without fiddling with small knobs.

The clear acrylic body looks modern and also lets you see how much pepper is left at a glance so youll never run out of pepper mid-recipe or mid-dinner. Fillingit is simple, too, since you just turn the grinder over and unscrew the cap while the grinder stands sturdily on its head. Youll be ready to use this right away because it comes filled with black peppercorns, but also you can empty it and refill it with salt or any whole spices you want to grind fresh.

If your philosophy with kitchen gadgets is that they should look just as great as they work, this vintage-inspired pepper mill is the perfect pick for you. In addition to the grinder's unique design, reviewers love that it grinds a lot of pepper at once so seasoning your dinner moves more quickly. You can also grind your pepper directly into a small drawer to put on your table for your friends and family to season, or if you need to add a specific amount for a recipe. It's easy to adjust the coarseness of the grind to your liking, and reviewers say refilling the mill with whole peppercorns is also a breeze.

Wooden pepper grinders look classic, evoking old-world craftsmanship and high-end steakhouses. This wooden grinder has that vibe and looks like it would be right at home next to the family cuckoo clock since its made in Germany from a 100-year-old design. But everything old is new again, and this would look just as comfortable in a modern setting. Its made from solid beechwood, lathe-turned, and operates with a metal crank. Inside, it has a very modern ceramic grinding mechanism thats guaranteed for 25 years. This grinder has six positions to adjust the grinding coarseness, meaning youll have just what you need, from fine to coarse. Filling it is simplejust unscrew the knob and remove the top.

Not only is this an efficient and adjustable pepper grinder, but its also classically pretty with a brushed stainless steel finish that will stand up to kitchen use and still look nice sitting out on the table. No need to baby the finishthe stainless steel will easily stand up to kitchen spills and subsequent cleaning. This mill first cracks and then grinds the peppercorns for the best flavor. You can select one of six settings from fine to coarse, or choose a setting in between those, for precise control of the grind. Peugeot mills are made in France and each mill is tested before it leaves the factory. As a result, youre likely to find peppercorns or ground pepper in the mill when it arrives, and you can be sure the mechanism will work exactly as it should.

This set of two grinders (one for salt, one for pepper) has gone high-tech, with push-button operation and an LED light that brightens up the view so you can easily see how much salt or pepper youve added to your soup or salad. The included holder provides a neat place to keep the grinders and also helps prevent stray grindings from ending up on your counters. Coarseness is selected using a knob on the bottom of the grinder, and the spice container twists apart easily for refilling. This operates on batteries; rechargeable batteries are not recommended.

This simple grinder has a budget price, but its packed with features that will likely make it your kitchen favorite. Its simple to fill and holds more pepper than you can imagine, while the clear face on the filler door lets you see how much pepper is left. Its also simple to open the door and shake out a few peppercorns when you need them whole for a recipe.

The crank is easier to operate when you need a large quantity of pepper than a twist top that can be a little tiring, and the top knob is comfortable to hold. The base holds ground pepper for you if you dont want to grind directly onto the food, and it keeps your counter neat since errant bits of pepper wont escape from the bottom of the grinder when its not in use. This has a ceramic grinding mechanism so you can use it with any type of peppercorn or even for grinding coarse salt.

This attractive acrylic dual-grinder comes filled with salt and pepper so it's ready for your kitchen or table as soon as it arrives. It's simple to use and both sides work the same: Hold the bottom and middle and twist to grind. Then flip it over and hold the bottom and middle and twist again to grind the other spice. A simple adjuster knob lets you switch from coarse to fine grinds on each end. To fill, you simply unscrew the entire grinding mechanism from the body of the grinder so you have a wide opening to pour in the salt or pepper, and because the body of the grinder is clear acrylic, you can see at a glance how much salt or pepper is left.

Dreamfarm, known for clever and quirky product names, has named its pepper grinder the Ortwo because it can be used with one hand or two. When one hand is busy or messy, its easy to grab the Ortwo and squeeze the handles to dispense pepper where its needed. Two-handed, grasping one handle in each hand, squeezing can be much faster so its great for grinding a larger quantity of pepper to fill the mise en place bowl or to generously pepper steak.

The Ortwo is incredibly easy to fill, too, since it attaches to a glass cup with a mouth thats wide enough to fill without spills. The grinding can be set for six different sizes from fine to chunky for every recipe. The angled cylinder lets the grinder rest upright on the counter or table without spilling ground pepper haphazardly. Not just for pepper, the Ortwo can be used for a variety of spices and seeds, and the clear glass jar makes it simple to see which is pepper and which is allspice.

Great for cooks who have ogled giant steakhouse pepper grinders, this 17-inch grinder will certainly make a statement at the table as it's being passed around. Its handcrafted in the United States by a family-owned company, made from sustainably grown wood, and designed to last a lifetime. It has a two-step grinding process that first crushes the peppercorns for the best release of flavor, and then it finishes the grinding in the second step. It can be set for as many as 33 different grind sizes from fine to coarse and has a pop-out grinding mechanism that makes it easy to clean if its ever necessary. This beautiful pepper mill is available in several different stains, and the company also makes smaller pepper mills as well as salt mills to suit every dining table.

These little grinders are ready to travel, whether its to work, on a road trip, or just to Grandmas house to surreptitiously add some flavor to lunch. Theyre also adorable to put at each place setting for a party and to give as party favors when dinner is done. Theyre easy to use one-handed, so theyre great in the kitchen, too, to add a finishing touch to plates as theyre headed to the dining room. These are clear, making it easy to see which is salt and which is pepper, and they come with a clear stand to keep them neatly in place wherever they rest.

They come with a small pouch that can be tucked into a backpack, a pocket, or luggage without worrying about accidental grinding and spills. A sample of sea salt and pepper comes with the set, meaning they're ready for grinding immediately. This set is also available in stainless steel.

The OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder (view at Amazon) is our top pick because of how easy it is to use. Plus, it features a coarseness selector and a clear body so you can see how much pepper is left. If you're going for a classic, high-end aesthetic, try the Zassenhaus Speyer 5.1-Inch Dark Stained Beech Pepper Mill (view at Amazon). The wooden, German-made grinder evokes old-world craftsmanship.

Pepper mills work by using a combination of gravity and sturdy mechanisms that grind the peppercorns. The best pepper mills are made of either ceramic or high-carbon steel because theyre strong and will not flake into the food. The acrylic grinders found in grocery store pepper mills tend to be weaker, more inconsistent, and have the chance of shredding particles into the food. Its important to note that salt mills are only made of ceramic because salt can oxidize and corrode steel, so dont add any salt to a steel grinder that you might have lying around. That said, salt mills are not entirely necessary because salt tastes the same whether its been pre-ground or freshly ground (after all, it is a rock). Peppercorns are completely different and highly benefit from being freshly ground.

Because stainless steel products can be subject to corrosion, ceramic is the ideal material. It will stay sharper ten times longer than a stainless steel blade (ceramics are second to diamonds when it comes to sharpness) and you likely wont need to replace it, while you may need to sharpen stainless steel. When it comes to the consistency of grind, ceramic produces a slightly less consistent grind than steel because of the grinding mechanism.

In addition to the material of the grinder mechanism, the material of the body can also affect how your pepper mill works. While it may seem advantageous to have a transparent (typically plastic or glass) body because you can see when youre getting low on peppercorns, you should keep in mind that spices need to be kept in a cool, dry place. If you keep your clear pepper mill on a kitchen counter that receives sunlight, this can cause the peppercorns to lose their flavor and aroma more quickly than if they were inside a wooden or opaque body.

Pepper mills can be as small as 3 inches to sometimes 24 inches in height. The size thats right for you depends on the space you have in your kitchen and where you plan on storing the mill. Of course, a pepper mill thats 2 feet tall is more on the unpractical side, although it may be a fun statement kitchen piece to admire. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. The bigger the mill, the more peppercorns it can store (which means youre replacing peppercorns less frequently), although keep in mind that if they sit too long in a mill, they will lose their freshness.

It may sound silly, but holding a few mills in your hand and cranking it is a great way to decide which mill is for you. Some cooks prefer an hourglass shape, while some may prefer something more cylindrical. Grinding pepper is a lot about feel and comfort, so if the size doesnt work with you, its not going to feel right.

While all pepper mills rely on gravity and a grinder to mill the peppercorns, the way you refill the peppercorns differs depending on the mill. Some have a screw-off top that requires you to remove the head in order to refill the body with peppercorns. In others, there may be a chute that pops off to the side, allowing you to refill without completely dismantling the head from the body. Some mills have their grinding mechanism at the top of the mill (so you have to turn it upside down when you go to grind pepper), and the refilling apparatus is at the bottom, allowing you to prop the mill upside and refill it that way.

Some models offer a dial at the bottom of the mill that allows you to set how coarse you want the pepper to be milled. This gives you the option to crank out pepper so chunky that you can feel it between your teeth or so fine that you can barely see it in your dish. In some models, you can still adjust the coarseness; however, the mill may not have a preset dial, thus requiring you to tinker with the knob at the top of the head and keeping grinding until youve achieved your desired texture. This can require a little bit of a learning curve, but with enough practice, you will understand how to achieve the coarseness that youre looking for.

You can find a pepper mill for less than $10, or you can spend upwards of $100. A good benchmark for a pepper mill that will last you a lifetime is around $40. You want a mill with a sturdy grinding mechanism so that youre not constantly replacing it. Typically, brands like Peugeot and Fletchers Mills offer lifetime guarantees on their grinding mechanism, so it might be worth it to opt for a pricier brand given the warranty program. Anything pricier than $40 is usually just for aesthetics. Remember, you want something that is rustic and durable enough to keep up with you over a hot stove or a crowded kitchen, yet something that you can also place on the table without it being a complete eyesore to all of your guests.

Electric pepper mills can be pretty divisive. Peppercorn purists might argue that relying on a button rather than grinding or cranking by hand can take some of the magic out of fresh pepper. On top of this, electric mills tend to have a slower output than if you were to do it by hand, produce inconsistent grinding sizes, and are more susceptible to breaking down or needing repair. Not to mention, youll not only need to replenish peppercorns, but youll need to stay on top of batteries (up to six). They also tend to be a bit noisier than a manual mill.

Some electric models have coarseness settings while others dont, so you may need to tinker with them a little before you start grinding to find your desired coarseness. Because of their design, electric models are usually much heavier, which can be slightly annoying in the kitchen (especially if you accidentally drop it). Its not uncommon for an electric model to have an LED light at the bottom, which gives you a better idea of how much pepper youve ground. Many home cooks find this feature to be unappealing, distracting, and straight-up unnecessary. While you can still find an electric model thats cheaper than a manual, its important to consider these drawbacks. These mills can be a nice tableside option or a solution if you want to go a bit easier on your hands and wrists, but for the most part, they are not very desirable.

This is another design option that comes down to personal preference, but most home cooks opt for a classic knob twist. Cranks can be slightly more difficult and yield less pepper per crank. Not only are knob twists simply more aesthetically pleasing, but theyre also way more stable and generally easier to use than a crank. That said, if the crank models feel more comfortable for you, then theyre a perfectly practical choice.

Not only was this the first brand to create a pepper mill, but still today it is one of the most desired brands when it comes to both performance and design at the benchmark $40 price point. Known for its unmistakably consistent grind and sleek yet practical look, this is certainly the pinnacle of pepper mills. Its pepper mills are also known for churning out the most freshly ground pepper with the least work possible.

With products ranging on the cheaper end of the spectrum, this is a great budget option. It offers many mills with transparent bodies, if seeing how many peppercorns you still have left is important to you. Its signature mill also has its grinder at the top of the body, so you dont have to worry about a ring of ground pepper gathering wherever you place the mill down on your counter.

Like any well-loved kitchen tool, pepper mills are going to get dirty. Get into the habit of occasionally wiping down the exterior with a hot, damp cloth, and if its extra greasy and dirty, go ahead and scrub a little dish soap on it, too. Youre likely going to be grabbing this thing with sticky, greasy hands, so stay on top of the cleaning. If youre planning to use any colored peppercorns, its a good idea to throw in some black peppercorns to the mix in order to avoid any jams around the grinder. Never add salt to your stainless steel pepper mills, and make sure to keep any moisture far away from the grinder (this can lead to oxidation and rust). When it comes to re-filling the mill with more peppercorns, be mindful not to fill it up to the brim because this makes it harder for the mill to grind the pepper and can lead to jams.

You should never grind salt in a pepper mill. The grinding mechanism for pepper mills is designed differently than their salt grinding counterparts. Salt will corrode a metal pepper mill grinder causing it to rust and break.

Inside a pepper mill are two grooved disks, or grinders, that turn opposite each other when you turn the pepper mill crank. The peppercorns get lodged between the grinders, snapping open the shells and grinding the peppercorns into pepper. Once the pepper reaches the desired coarseness setting, it will fall through the opening at the bottom of the grinder.

Pepper mills can and should be cleaned regularly, ideally between every peppercorn refill. To clean a pepper mill, open the pepper mill and dump any leftover peppercorns, shells, and residue. With a very small dry brush or pipe cleaner, you can wipe out any remaining residue. If the pepper mill is very dirty, it can be rinsed out with warm water. Allow the pepper mill to dry thoroughly to prevent pepper caking and rusting before adding new peppercorns and reassembling. The outside of the peppermill should be wiped down regularly with a warm damp cloth. Mild soap can be used on the towel to clean the outside of a mill.

A pepper mill and a pepper grinder are both terms for the same type of product. While it means essentially the same thing for pepper grinders, mills and grinders are two different types of machines in the larger food production world. Grinders process foods the way most of the pepper mills outlined here do. Food mills, on the other hand, process food by pressing it through a sieve to puree and strain it (without necessarily grinding it first). Most of the pepper mills outlined here have coarseness options, that are provided by an internal strainer of sorts that only lets the correct pepper coarseness through. Basically, most pepper mills are actually grinders with a strainer, but the terms can be used interchangeably in this scenario.

Food writer and product tester Donna Currie is an expert on all things food, from cookbooks to cooking gadgets. She's written her own cookbook,Make Ahead Bread,and loves to test out her favorite kitchen gadgets and appliances when it comes to developing her own recipes. She also has an extensive blog where she details said recipes.

Sara Tane wrote the Buying Guide portion of this article. She has written for numerous food publications and has contributed to The Spruce Eats since October 2020. She not only holds a dual Bachelor's degree in Food Studies and Global Studies from UNC, Chapel Hill but also earned a Culinary Degree from the Institute of Culinary Education.

new best mini milling machine reviews - updated in july 2021

new best mini milling machine reviews - updated in july 2021

Once upon a time, milling machines were only relevant to large garages and factories. And mini mill remained so for a long time, because who would want to bring home a machine weighing hundreds or thousands of pounds anyway?

In this post, were going to help you find the best mini mill by exploring the top models in the market. With the models in our list, you can mill a wide variety of materials at home and achieve great, professional results.

If youre looking for the best mini milling machine for small to medium projects, this would definitely be a great selection. Its loaded with many other features that make it easy to use, such as the push-button speed control.

Sturdiness is one of the biggest joys of owning this model. Its one-piece cast iron column is super tough and hard to break. Its the kind of construction you can rely on when dealing with hard materials.

When lateral forces are exerted against the bit, its possible to for the cutting tool to get accidentally disconnected from the spindle. When that happens, a bad cut on the material might be executed or worse, you could get injured.

A table size of 10 5/8 by 3 5/32 inches allows you to work on your small scale projects without a problem. The two hand wheels allow you to adjust the worktable quickly and conveniently so you can finish your task without stress.

Once you get this mini mill, youre provided with three collets of varying sizes. These are very useful, as they prevent your cutting tools from falling off the spindle. That means you get to work faster and more safely.

One of the main issues that machinists face when using a mini mill is vibration. On this model, the axes are locked in position to alleviate this issue. Minimal vibration means you get to work peacefully.

When looking for the mini mills to include in our review, we went through a significant number of models. Many of the did not make it to our list, as we were using a fixed criterion to determine the finest models.

A heavier milling machine normally performs better and lasts longer than a lightweight mill. However, you also have to account for the ease of transportation and the place where you will keep the mill.

Electric mini mills have different power needs. Some need 110V, some 230V, and so on. Fortunately, you can alter them to work with your shops or garages power output, though you might need an electrician for that.

Check the motor too. How much power can it deliver? There are several ratings you can look at. The first on is the HP rating, which can be 0.something, 1, 2, and so on. The higher the rating, the more/better the output.

And lastly, theres the spindle speed. Youll see a rating like 0 to 2000 RPM (rotations per minute) or 0 to 3000 RPM. The higher the spindle speeds a milling machine can attain, the wider the range of tasks it can handle. Again, higher speeds create a smoother finish.

Therefore, ensure you keep your manual nearby for reference or details. Find a picture in there that labels the parts of your machine and be sure to understand the parts and functions. That will help you use the appliance more efficiently.

A mill is a machine that uses a rotating cutter attached to a spindle to adjust the shape of solid pieces such as metal or wood or to cut shapes on them. It works by removing material from the work piece.

A mini mill is a small version of an industrial mill. Its a versatile machine used to drill, produce slots, bore holes, cut gears, and achieve a range of other functions by removing material from solid items.

Over to you now. What model are you going to secure? Will you go for the no-fuss littleJET JMD-18 Mini Milling Machine or will you get the more robust Klutch mini milling machine that is first on our list?

Remember, getting the best mini mill machine requires you to speculate the features carefully. Follow our links to see more features on amazon while checking what other machinists are saying about your preferred model.

A few years back, it all started with my first blog website. It was about to deal and heal with automotive hand tools. Well, it brought me a good audience base for sure, which then dragged me out of my major and got me to sit and write, and be a blogger. Read more

top 9 milling machines of 2020 | video review

top 9 milling machines of 2020 | video review

This wiki has been updated 33 times since it was first published in March of 2015. A high-quality milling machine will ensure that any parts you make will work correctly the first time, and you can find the best option for your next job from our comprehensive selection. We've included mini models best suited for home use through to industrial-grade mills that can produce precise sizes and shapes of any component. Always use protective gear while operating machinery like this. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

This wiki has been updated 33 times since it was first published in March of 2015. A high-quality milling machine will ensure that any parts you make will work correctly the first time, and you can find the best option for your next job from our comprehensive selection. We've included mini models best suited for home use through to industrial-grade mills that can produce precise sizes and shapes of any component. Always use protective gear while operating machinery like this. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

The Precision Matthews PM-727M (around $2999) features hardened ground steel gears that give it an impressive cutting capability, allowing it to remove a lot of material quickly, yet it is small enough to fit in most workshops. Four sturdy bolts attach the column to its base securely.

While quite economical for a large machine, the Precision Matthews PM-25MV (around $2099) is good for fabricating metal parts with very tight tolerances, thanks to its triple-bolted head, which ensures that the spindle has almost no run-out.

The Jet JMD-18 350018 (around $2499) features a hinged belt cover, which makes for fast speed changes. Its large 9-1/2 by 31-3/4-inch worktable provides plenty of space for a variety of jobs, making it an ideal choice for a professional shop.

January 08, 2020: Added the Precision Matthews PM-25MV. Both the Precision Matthews PM-25MV and the PM-727M are good machines for the price and, most importantly, can be used to fabricate parts needed for precise work. The major differences amount to the motors and the drives. These differences were weighed along with other features to determine their relative ranking. The PM-25MV is equipped with a 110Vac brushless DC motor and a belt drive. The PM-727M comes with a 110Vac AC induction motor and a direct gearbox. As far as I'm concerned, the DC motor gets the nod because it is appropriately brushless (a brushed DC motor would be completely wrong for a continuous operation machine like mills) and because, by its DC nature, produces flat torque across operating speeds. Induction motors often lose torque at higher speeds (it is a point of contention whether torque is important for mills at higher speeds but it is not contentious that it certainly doesn't hurt to not have that limitation). Alternatively, you might think that the induction motor should get the nod because it relies on an electrical mechanism to transfer current while the BLDC motor relies on a mechanical mechanism (this difference results in extended service life in favor of the induction motor). Nevertheless, the reason that the PM-727M is placed ahead is because of the drives. Belt drives are inherent failure points for machines and in the long term are almost certainly less reliable and effective at transferring torque than a direct gear box. Using mills is very dangerous and should only be used by trained professionals to avoid personal injury or damage to equipment.

Both the Precision Matthews PM-25MV and the PM-727M are good machines for the price and, most importantly, can be used to fabricate parts needed for precise work. The major differences amount to the motors and the drives. These differences were weighed along with other features to determine their relative ranking. The PM-25MV is equipped with a 110Vac brushless DC motor and a belt drive. The PM-727M comes with a 110Vac AC induction motor and a direct gearbox.

As far as I'm concerned, the DC motor gets the nod because it is appropriately brushless (a brushed DC motor would be completely wrong for a continuous operation machine like mills) and because, by its DC nature, produces flat torque across operating speeds. Induction motors often lose torque at higher speeds (it is a point of contention whether torque is important for mills at higher speeds but it is not contentious that it certainly doesn't hurt to not have that limitation). Alternatively, you might think that the induction motor should get the nod because it relies on an electrical mechanism to transfer current while the BLDC motor relies on a mechanical mechanism (this difference results in extended service life in favor of the induction motor).

Nevertheless, the reason that the PM-727M is placed ahead is because of the drives. Belt drives are inherent failure points for machines and in the long term are almost certainly less reliable and effective at transferring torque than a direct gear box.

Bridgeport Series 1 This model is the most popular milling machine on the market for good reason. It is extremely stable and accurate, it has an effective airflow cooling design that extends the life of many of its components, and there is an extensive set of attachments available on the market. hardinge.com

The Shop Fox M1111 (about $2619) is an industrial-quality machine that can stand up to the rigors of constant daily use. It is equipped with a robust, one horsepower, 220-volt motor and variable speed controls, but its adjusting jib lacks precision.

Despite its compact size, the Grizzly G0704 (around $1700) is a capable machine, especially if you intend to use it primarily for small projects in a home shop or garage. It boasts a one-horsepower motor that outperforms some of the larger units in its class.

It's not going to tackle the heaviest jobs out there, but the OTMT OT2213 (around $980) has enough features to make it a smart choice for small to mid-sized shops or for serious home hobbyists who want to create their own mechanical components.

If you need to maximize shop space and how far your budget can go, the Grizzly G4015Z (appx. $1625) can help. It is both a milling machine and a lathe in one handy unit that, surprisingly, doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It can be configured for imperial or metric thread pitches.

The Erie Tools ETD-SM (about $900) is a benchtop model that weighs 112 pounds, so although it is not exactly lightweight, it can be moved around a shop or home garage. Its depth stop is adjustable to ensure precision work, and it comes with a six-piece shank set.

Despite being one of the smallest options available, the Proxxon 37110 (about $345) is no mere toy. It is eminently capable of working on projects that consist of tiny components, such as optical equipment, jewelry, electronics and models.

It is believed that milling machines date back to the 1700s, although it is unclear exactly when they were first invented, or by whom. They are very similar to lathes, so the earliest models were most likely just variations on the typical lathe machine. Milling machines became a separate class of tools sometime between 1814 and 1818.

Most historians cite Eli Whitney as the first person to construct a reliable milling machine. His creation served as the prototype on which many later developers based their designs. Whitney's machine was created out of his need to produce guns more quickly. In 1798, he was contracted by the federal government to manufacture a large number of muskets, but at the time, all guns were handcrafted and had no interchangeable parts. To remedy this problem, he created a semi-automated factory that included a milling machine capable of producing muskets.

In 1867, a universal milling machine was displayed at the Paris Exhibition. It was created by Joseph R. Brown, who needed a way to produce spiral flutes for twist drills. His invention proved to be incredibly versatile, and he later added a formed cutter. Since that time, milling machines have been one of the most used industrial machining tools. They are extremely adaptable to a range of jobs, including cutting grooves, shoulders, flat and incline shoulders, as well as slots and dovetails.

In 1954, the milling machine became the first machining tool to be controlled numerically. This is a way to automate machine controls using precisely programmed commands. Before numerical control, all machine tools were operated by hand, which made them less precise.

Milling machines can be used on wood, metal, and nearly any other solid object to cut a range of shapes and sizes. They are most often automated by computer numeric control to carve out designs created in a computer-aided design program, but manually operated machines are also still common. Milling machines can be used in both horizontal and vertical orientations, and many can perform multi-axis machining. Unlike many other machining tools, milling machines are capable of dynamic movement, which means both the workpiece and the tool can be moved during operation. This is one of the factors that makes them such a versatile tool.

The tool head of a milling machine can be swapped out for a number of different types, depending on what needs to be accomplished. Some common tool heads include ball end mills, rounding mills, fluted mills, and standard cutters. Those that are controlled by CNC are instructed by the computer when it is time to swap out their head for another milling tool, and are capable of doing it autonomously.

In addition to the desired shape of the cut, the correct milling tool is also determined by the material being worked. As wood has different properties than steel or plastic, it requires a different type of milling tool for efficient cutting. If the wrong milling tool is used, it may damage the workpiece, the tool, or even the milling machine itself.

The most basic tool used on a milling machine is a cutter. This is a specially shaped bar with saw teeth carved into it. The cutter head rotates rapidly, allowing it to cut smoothly into the material being worked. The saw teeth of a cutter can be sized, spaced, and oriented in a number of ways to achieve the desired cut. For denser materials, straight teeth are better, while helical teeth work better for softer materials.

When choosing a milling machine, there are a few different factors that must be considered. The first step is deciding if you need a vertical or horizontal cutter. Vertical mills are the newer form of milling machines and use a die-sinking method. They cut using vertical planes, and come in three basic sub-categories: bed mills, turret mills, and mill-drills.

Bed mills use a stationary spindle, and have a table that can only move in a perpendicular motion to the spindle. This somewhat limits their design capabilities, but they are generally cheaper, making them a good choice for someone who does not need parallel cutting capabilities.

Turret mills are often considered superior to bed mills as the table can move both perpendicular and parallel to the spindle. They are usually best as smaller machines because the quill used to raise and lower the cutter is often difficult to reach on any size machine, and extremely heavy on larger models.

Mill-drills are the most commonly found milling machines in home and hobby shop use. They are smaller, lighter, and more affordable than other types of milling machines, but aren't suitable for large volume work.

For those with very long projects, horizontal mills are often a better choice. As you might imagine, they use a horizontal tool to cut material. They excel at creating bezels, grooves, and spirals. They are also better for those working on multi-sided pieces. For those that need a truly versatile machine, one that features a rotating head and is capable of both horizontal and vertical cutting is best.

Rafael Perez is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at the University of Rochester. His primary focus is the metaphysics of time and the philosophy of mind, with a particular interest in artificial intelligence and antirepresentational models of the mind. He has extensive experience as a mechanic, a construction worker, and a general repairman. This has allowed him to gather a wealth of knowledge on automobile repair, auto parts, carpentry, masonry, welding, and the tools used in those trades. In his spare time, he enjoys playing guitar, woodworking, and fishing.

bal-tec - ball material selection

bal-tec - ball material selection

You need some balls just like the sample, but how do you find out what it is? Or you may need help in choosing the right ball material for a particular application. The safest place to start is with the application itself. What does the ball do?

"Bearing balls" is the general term for any hard steel ball that will function in a roller bearing application. Common materials are hard chrome steel 52100, C/S, 440C hard stainless steel and carbonized high carbon steel. High speed steel might be added to this list for severe and high temperature applications.

If it is a ball bearing application, the most likely material is chrome steel which is 52100 chrome alloy steel. This is a relatively inexpensive material. This material is very hard, at about 62 HRC (Hardness on the Rockwell "C" scale). It is highly magnetic. It is not corrosion resistant, it will rust easily. Chrome alloy steel balls comprise about 90% of all balls manufactured. This material is a high carbon (1.00%), chrome (1.36%) alloy steel that will harden into the 60 - 65 HRC range when oil quenched from a soaking temperature of 1475 F. The hardness usually ends up at 62 HRC. The stress relieving or drawing temperature is 325 F. This does not mean that this steel can be used up to this temperature. We have run repeated tests where we elevated the temperature to 325 F. In the first three cycles, the samples dropped one point of HRC each time they were treated. It begins to lose its hardness at temperatures above 300 F. It is a fine grade material that can be precision ground and lapped spherical within a few millionths of an inch with a sub micro inch surface quality. It is highly magnetic in the sense that it will be attracted by a magnet.

51100 steel is a very low alloy chrome steel that was widely used during WW II as a means of conserving chromium. It is more susceptible to stress cracking during the quenching cycle of heat treating than the more conventional 52100 chrome alloy steel. This material is highly magnetic. It will through harden in reasonable sections. It will harden to 60 to 65 HRC. With a 325 F draw, it will average 62 HRC.

The third possibility is that, it is a case hardened carbon steel, i.e. hard carbon steel. For the most part, these less expensive balls are used in cheap bearings for casters, conveyors, bicycles and toys.

This material is highly magnetic. It has a thin carbon rich layer, cooked into the surface, that is then hardened to the equivalent of 60 HRC. This material is extremely rust prone. These balls are manufactured from low carbon steel wire, i.e. type 1018 steel. The ball blanks are cold headed, flashed and ground. They are then heated to 1700 F in a very carbon-rich, gaseous environment to develop a high carbon case or shell in a rotary hearth furnace--carbon is literally cooked into the outer surface of the steel balls. After cooling, they are re-heated and oil or water quenched, depending on size. Next, they are tempered at 325 F to relieve the stresses and to reduce the hardness slightly so they won't be brittle. After carbonizing, this material may be heat treated to the equivalent of 60 HRC. Because of the thin hardened layer, a special micro hardness test must be used to evaluate the hardness. It should be remembered that the hard outer surface is only a thin case or shell. Finally, these balls are ground and polished.

Soft low carbon steel (type 1018; 0.18% Carbon, 0.8% Manganese, balance Fe - Iron) balls are produced commercially in most common fractional inch sizes, up to 1 inch ( 25.4 mm). These balls are ground round with a highly polished decorative finish.

We custom produce soft, low carbon steel balls in the entire size range from subminiature to 17 inches (432 mm). These custom made balls can be supplied as: precision machined only, precision ground, or precision ground and polished. This material can be easily drilled, threaded, and otherwise machined with conventional chip-making machines. Type 1018, soft, low carbon steel, balls are very weldable.

The last common bearing material is high-speed extremely high temperature alloy steel. This is only found in hot bearing applications. High speed steel balls are usually produced from type M50 or M10 steel. Many of the "T" type high speed steels are almost impossible to purchase today, High speed steel's main property is its very high temperature resistance. High speed steel will remain hard even at red temperatures. High speed steels are generally harder than the standard chrome steel. It is typically 65 HRC. This material is highly magnetic. We can usually grind this material with expensive cubic boron nitride abrasive. It can be drilled, threaded and otherwise machined using the EDM process (Electro Discharge Machine).

Precision balls can be produced from this material, but there is really no good reason to use it. The properties of this material have no advantage over the standard 52100 chrome alloy steel, which is less expensive and more readily available.

06 Tool Steel finds frequent use for the production of large and very precision balls. It is reasonably machinable. It is readily available in large diameter, cylindrical form. It will through harden, even in very large diameters. It can be ground and lapped to a very high quality.

Ball screws are very similar to ball bearings in that they generally use either chrome steel or type 440C hard stainless steel. A peculiarity of ball screws is that they typically have a load ball and the next ball is a .001-inch undersized spacer ball, and so on. One half of the balls are load balls and one half are spacer balls.

In exotic aerospace or life threatening situations, you should obviously not use home-grown tests to validate materials since sophisticated alloys like high-speed steel, Stellite or HASTELLOY may test similar to other common materials, but in fact have extremely different physical properties. The Stellite alloys most most frequently used for balls are Star J or number three. They are very hard and wear resistant. See our page, Radiations Hardened Kinematic Systems for more information on Stellite.

Another place where balls are widely used is in the plumbing of pneumatic and hydraulic systems. Ball check valves, flow control valves, pressure relief valves and pressure regulating valves all use ball and seat combinations to perform their functions.

In pure hydraulic oil systems, the most common ball material is chrome alloy 52100 steel. This ball will be very hard, and highly magnetic, but it is not corrosion resistant and will test positive in any of the corrosion tests. In the grinding spark test it will be orange in color with many side bursts, as the carbon burns with the oxygen in the atmosphere (incineration).

Some high-end hydraulic systems may use type 440C stainless steel. This material is highly magnetic, it is hard and it will not react to any of the corrosion tests. In the grinding spark test, it will have a short red spark with almost no side burst. In the plumbing for the food processing industry, HASTELLOY, Stellite and even Tungsten Carbide (TC) balls are often used.

is very hard. It is almost non magnetic. It is extremely corrosive resistant. When spark tested, it will give off almost no indication at all, outside of a few red tracers. HASTELLOY is tough but not very hard. A file will cut it with ease. It is an extremely corrosion-resistant material. The cylindrical bar stock to make these balls costs us $71.00 per pound in 2008. High quality balls of any size can be produced from this material.

Tungsten-carbide is very very heavy. Many times all you have to do is to heft it to distinguish its enormous mass. It will not react to any of the corrosion tests. It will emit no spark at all when ground with a conventional abrasive wheel. It is the hardest of all synthetic materials. If you look at this material critically, it is not a silvery metallic but is a dark gray in color. Tungsten-carbide is only slightly magnetic and is usually easy to distinguish from steel. See our shopping cart for available stock.

In tap water systems, brass balls are often used, although type 316 stainless steel will show up in high-end systems. The bright golden color of the brass gives it away. It is dead soft. It is entirely non-magnetic. The corrosion tests will only brighten the gold color.

Is the ball hard? Measuring the actual hardness of a precision ball is a complicated and difficult procedure. To make a shop test of hardness, first procure a brand-new, flat, fine toothed, mill bastard file. Hold the ball to be tested in the jaws of a set of clamping pliers like vise grips.

A good fast test of corrosion resistance is to immerse pre-cleaned test balls in a 5 percent solution of nitric-acid in alcohol. This "Nital" solution will turn all steels a light to dark gray in just 2 minutes. It won't change the color of corrosive-resistant materials.

An even better test is the copper-sulfate test. This solution consists of copper-sulfate crystals dissolved in a 6-percent solution of sulfuric-acid and water. A drop of this solution on the surface of a clean steel ball will immediately form a bright spot of copper-plating. This solution will not affect any of the corrosive resistant materials within a two-minute period, but may react to hard ferritic or Martensitic stainless-steel after a long period of exposure. See our picture gallery page.

Is the ball magnetic? Here we must be a little careful. Many materials that most people consider totally non-magnetic, like 300 series stainless steels, can become slightly magnetic when it is cold work-hardened. Remember that commercial balls are made by cold-heading the blanks from wire. Then they are rolled between two hard steel plates to remove the cold heading flash from them. Both of these processes generate strains in the balls that will make them at least slightly magnetic.

Use an ordinary pocket magnet to test for magnetism, not one of the very powerful rare earth magnets. If the magnet strongly attracts the ball, it is one of the steel materials. If it doesn't attract it at all, or if it only has a very slight attraction it is one of the corrosive resistant materials, or else a totally nonferrous (without iron) material.

It may sound obvious, but look at the sample ball. For many applications on board ships, it is not unusual to find brass, bronze, or aluminum-bronze balls. It is also common to find these materials in plumbing and valve applications. Clean the ball with a strong detergent; brassy materials will be a golden yellow color. Brass and bronze are totally non-magnetic while aluminum-bronze will be very slightly attracted by a magnet.

is a fairly common plastic ball material. It is heavier than most plastics and quickly sinks in water. It is very white in color. It will actually feel slippery to the touch. This material is the most corrosion-resistant plastic material. This material will operate at the highest and the lowest temperatures of any plastic ball material. This is one of the most expensive plastic materials. See our PTFE ball stock in our shopping cart.

The spark test can be a very effective test procedure to help identify a material. Use an ordinary shop grinder for this test. Ideally use a course (40) grit grinding wheel. This test is more effective in an almost dark area. The grinding wheel should be dressed to remove any metal embedded in the surface. Hold the ball in the same vise grip pliers used for the file hardness test. Hold the ball lightly against the rotating grinding wheel and observe the sparks that result. Lets break the appearance of the sparks coming off the grinding wheel down into three categories: The color of the spark. Don't look at anything but the color. 440c and high-speed steel will give a very red spark. Chrome steel will give a bright orange spark. Hard carbon steel will give a nearly white spark. 300 series stainless, Monel K-Monel and HASTELLOY will give almost no spark at all. If you use a heavy pressure you may get a few tiny red darts. The length of the spark is the next characteristic to look at; 440c and high-speed steel will throw a short spark. Chrome steel will throw a medium long spark. Hard carbon steel will throw a much longer spark on the same wheel at the same pressure. The nature of the spark will vary with the different materials. The free carbon in the steel incinerates or burns in the oxygen of our atmosphere. This forms a burst or side spark that comes off the main spark at an angle. In high alloy steels the carbon is tied up in high temperature combinations of chrome, cobalt, molybdenum or tungsten, so there is very little burst, if any. This group includes type 440C stainless steel and the high-speed steels. In materials such as chrome steel, which only a small percent of alloy, the incineration or explosion of the spark is much more pronounced and occurs closer to the grinding wheel. There will be a lot of side sparks. High carbon steel basically has no alloy except extremely high carbon content, so there are lots of sparks up and down the streamers leaving the wheel. There will be almost no spark with many materials like 300 series stainless, HASTELLOY, Monels or Stellites. Synopsis The best possible aid to spark testing is to have balls of known materials to compare the sparks with. Break the spark into the three characteristics of color, length, and incineration (side sparks or bursts). Add the information regarding the hardness, magnetism and corrosion resistance and you will be able to nail down ninety five percent of the ball materials. Please give our office a call at (323) 582-7348 with any questions, or toll-free at 800-322-5832. Quality To the quest of determining the material, we must add that of determining the required quality. For bearings and ball screws with balls from 1/16" (.0625 inch, 1.59 mm) to 5/8" (.625 inch, 15.9 mm), A.F.B.M.A. grade-25 is a good commercial quality that is good enough for most commercial applications. Request a ball grade chart, printed on plastic, from our office to better understand the quality and grade specifications and one will be sent to you free of charge. It is available as a download from our web site. For larger and smaller balls, a lower quality grade may be used for economic reasons. Grade 50 or grade 100 are usually available as an economic alternative to grade 25. In valve and plumbing applications, much softer corrosive-resistant materials are often used. It is very expensive to produce the highest quality balls in these soft stainless steel and non-ferrous materials. The high quality balls in these materials are usually Grade 100 and good commercial quality balls are Grade 200. Call our office for technical assistance. Ball Materials 1018 Soft Mild Steel Type 1018 soft mild steel has a very low carbon content. This steel is not hard. It can be machined, drilled and tapped. This material is highly magnetic. It will be strongly attracted by a magnet. This is one of the most weldable steel alloys. Hardness is rated at 28 HRC. 17-4 PH 17-4 PH is one of the family of precipitation hardened nickel based alloys. It combines high strength and good corrosion resistance with moderate hardness. It is hardened by soaking at an elevated temperature for a period of time. The most common soaking temperature is 900 F. This heat treating is referred to as H-900. In the solution annealed condition, this material has moderately good machining properties. 15-5 PH is another of the common PH alloys. 300 Series Stainless Steel If the application isn't too severe, type 316 stainless steel may be used. The 300 series stainless steels are basically an alloy of 18% chromium and 8% nickel with the balance ferrite (iron). This material is dead soft at about 30 HRC (Hardness Rockwell "C" scale), and is almost non magnetic in the annealed condition. Pneumatic In pneumatic systems, there is usually water or water vapor present. To prevent rust, type 316 stainless steel is used. The spark test will yield only tiny red tracers. This material will not respond to any of the corrosion tests. It is almost non-magnetic. It is dead soft and the file test will put an immediate flat on the ball. 420 Stainless Steel Type 420 hard stainless steel is the material widely used in Europe. It is very similar to type 440C, which is more widely used in the United States. Type 420 is not quite as hard as the type 440C. One of the advantages of 420 over type 440C is that it has a higher magnetic permeability, so that it is attracted more strongly by a magnetic field. 440C Stainless Steel 440C Stainless Steel is one of the most amazing standard ball materials. It is a very high chromium, high carbon, martensitic stainless steel. Martensite is the very hard state of a high carbon steel. When heat treated from the spherodize annealed condition, it forms an extremely fine grain structure. For hardening, it must be raised to 1900 F. It will harden to 58 - 63 HRC. It is usually at the low end of this range, when tempered at 400 F If the bearing is used in a corrosive or wet environment, it may be a type 440C hard martensitic stainless steel. This material is very magnetic and it is hard, but it is not as hard as chrome steel. It is about 58 HRC (Hardness Rockwell "C" scale). This material is only mildly corrosive resistant and will only respond to corrosion tests with slight pitting. It will eventually corrode in tap water and will not stand up to sea water at all. It is widely used as a premium bearing material and it is the top material for use in gaging products. See our article, Stainless Steel Balls, Type 440C Hardened for more information. Aluminum Balls 1100 series aluminum is commercially pure aluminum. It is a very light weight material that is a silvery white color, one of the natural base elements, and very ductile. Balls made of 1100 series aluminum are often used as closures. They are squashed or upset to permanently close a hole (an inside diameter). It is difficult to locate this material in less than mill-run quantities. 2017 aluminum is a copper alloy of aluminum that was originally developed for the manufacture of rivets. Its number one quality is that it can be safely cold-headed, which makes it an excellent choice as a material for precision balls. This is the aluminum alloy specified by Mil-B-1083, the generally accepted military specification for precision balls. This alloy has also been chosen by the AFBMA (Anti Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association as a standard ball material. This material is usually heat treated to the "T4" condition. This is not a good choice if the ball is to be anodized. High quality balls can be produced from this alloy. Aluminum Alloy 2017 Manganese 0.7% Copper 4.0% Magnesium 0.5% Aluminum balance 2024 aluminum alloy is an aluminum copper alloy. It is a high strength material, widely used in aircraft. It can be cold headed. The tensile strength of this alloy can be improved by heat treating. This alloy is not a good choice for hard anodizing as the segregation of copper will form voids and can even cause incineration of the metal during the anodizing process. Aluminum balls of all type are often used as closures by compressing them to seal a close fitting hole. Aluminum Alloy 6061 6061 Aluminum alloy is a widely used, readily available, aluminum material. This material should never be cold headed--it can develop internal fissures that will lead to catastrophic failure. This alloy has much better machining qualities than 2017 alloy. This alloy is an excellent choice when the balls are to be hard anodized. The tensile strength of this alloy can be improved by heat treating. This aluminum alloy is relatively light at 0.098 lbs/ cu in. Aluminum Bronze It is very slightly magnetic. An aluminum bronze ball will roll towards a powerful magnet. This material is very resistant to sea water. Some alloys of this material can be heat treated to increase its hardness and tensile strength, but the hardening process reduces corrosive resistance. It is a very good electrical conductor. A286 Balls A286 is one of the exotic Space Age materials. It has good wear properties. It is corrosion resistant. This material must be heat treated to develop its best physical properties. This material is very expensive. Very high quality balls can be produced from this material. Black Oxide Balls Black Phosphate Balls High quality steel balls of both chrome steel and hard stainless steel can be treated chemically to color the surface black. This black iron phosphate actually penetrates the surface so that the original size and surface quality is not affected. The most common application for this surface treatment is to provide identity for these balls. In some bearing and ball screw applications, two different size balls are used in the same device. The larger diameter balls are load bearing balls, and the smaller diameter black balls are used as spacer balls. Brass Balls We manufacture and stock a large variety of brass balls. Brass balls are gold or bright yellow in color. The Standard alloy is 70-30, which is 70% copper and 30% zinc. The only major problem with the metallurgy of brass is segregation. This is due to the high melting point of copper (3000 F) and the low melting point of zinc (800 F). This material is quite ductile and very malleable. It is corrosive resistant to tap water, but does not stand up well in sea water. It is nonmagnetic, an excellent electrical conductor, and has excellent solder ability with soft solder, but may require chemical cleaning to remove an oxide layer. Brass has a hardness of less than 30 HRC, is very machinable, and it may be drilled and tapped easily. Brass is a relatively heavy material at .275 - .316 lbs/cu in (7.60 - 8.75 g / cc). Naval Brass or Naval Bronze Naval Brass or Naval Bronze is very similar to brass, but has an addition of 0.5% to 1.0% tin. This small addition gives to material good corrosive resistance to sea water.Naval brass or bronze is a relatively heavy material at .305 lbs/ cu in. We will custom manufacture special alloys if the material is commercially available. Brass balls are precision ground and polished. They can be produced to AFBMA standards when required. We produce brass balls in all sizes from the sub-miniature to very large diameters. Copper We manufacture copper balls in the entire range of sizes from sub-miniature to several inches in diameter. Pure copper, as well as the many copper alloys, can be used to produce highly accurate precision balls. Copper, usually oxygen free, has excellent electrical and heat conductivity, as well as good corrosion resistance in many harsh environments. It is nonmagnetic. It is sometimes annealed after all forming and machining is completed, to enhance its electrical properties. It is extremely malleable and ductile. It is very soft, but it is gummy and very difficult to machine, tending to gall easily. It is very solderable, and it is very corrosive resistant to sea water. Copper has a distinctly red color. Diamond-Impregnated Brass Balls Diamond-impregnated balls are used to lap the spherical radius in ball valves. They usually have a stem or handle attached to facilitate holding during the lapping process. See our Diamond Impregnated Ball Lap page for more information. Gold An obvious use for gold is for jewelry. The nobility of gold meaning its resistance to corrosion and its good electrical conductivity leads to use in electrical applications. Gold has a high level of x-ray opacity and good bio-compatibility, which leads to its use as x-ray markers in medical applications. As gold is such an expensive material, we do not maintain a stock of gold balls. Hevimet Hevimet is usually sintered from powdered tungsten and powdered copper. Its very heavy weight makes it an alternative to lead in some uses. It is machinable, and unlike lead it is biologically safe. Ball's made of this material are used as counter-weights, and to add mass to mechanical structures. High Speed Steel High speed steel such as M50 and M10 or T15 are usually reserved for hot end bearings and high temperature ball screw applications. These materials are not corrosive resistant and will react to any of the corrosive tests. These materials are very hard. They will test up to 65 HRC. They will be strongly attracted by a magnet. When spark tested, they will give short red tracers with almost no side bursts. These balls are often supplied in very high quality grades, up to A.F.B.M.A. Grade 10. Inconel X Balls 7-18 Inconel is of one the exotic space-age metals, a trademark of Special Metals Corp. Inconel 7-18 is truly an aerospace metal. Inconel is hard and strong. It will continue to perform at high temperatures. It will also perform at temperatures so cold that hydrogen is a liquid. These low temperatures are so cold that there is a special word for it, cryogenic. The highest quality is required for these aerospace oriented balls. In many cases, every single individual ball must have its own pedigree accompanying it. This will include the physical and chemical analysis of the individual bar of material, an ultrasonic examination, and the heat treating process that was performed on it. Along with this will be the diameter of the ball on three orthogonal axii and three polar charts of the roundness taken on three orthogonal axii. A rocket engine using inconel balls depends on the integrity of each individual ball, making them crucial parts of the rocket engine. In addition, Inconel is highly corrosive resistant. It is precipitation hardened. This metal alloy must be heat-treated to develop its good physical properties. Care should be exercised in specifying the desired heat treatment as the furnace time for some processes may be very long and therefore, very expensive. We manufactured Inconel balls for the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. Inconel is a very expensive material, and may require considerable lead time just to procure the raw material. To see our stock of Inconel balls, click here. Monel There are a number of different Monel alloys, a trademark of Special Metals Corp.. The basic alloy has a minimum of 23% copper and minimum of 60% nickel with small amounts of iron and manganese. This material is very tough but not very hard. It is not heat treatable. Monel is used in very corrosive environments. It is excellent in salt water applications such as valves for sea water. It is also used in the food processing industry. We make Monel balls in a wide range of sizes. Due to its relatively soft nature, AFBMA grade 200 is the normal quality specification, although grade 100 can be achieved with some difficulty. It is relatively soft at about 38 HRC, and it is difficult to drill and tap. MP35N MP35N finds use for check valve applications where no other metal could ever survive. In down hole control valves where the chemistry of the environment would eat a stainless steel ball, balls made of this material will last indefinitely. This material is so tough that producing precision balls from it is a major problem. It cannot be cold headed at all. The forging temperatures are extreme. Like many of the exotic metals, MP35N can be lapped to a very high level of quality, once the spherical blank has been produced. The word expensive was coined to describe this material. Delivery is also a problem as the material has to be special ordered. MP35N Composition Ni, Nickel 35% Co, Cobalt 35% Cr, Chrome 20% Mo, Molybdenum 10% Niobium Niobium, a high density material, is very malleable and ductile. It is widely used in body jewelry. Platinum Platinum balls are widely used in high reliability electrical contacts. For this application, the platinum is alloyed with a small percentage of other elements. In the United States, it is usually alloyed with iridium; and in Europe, it is alloyed with nickel. These toughening and hardening metals have only a slight effect on the properties of the platinum. Platinum is the most noble of metals and is impervious to attack by most acids and bases. Platinum has one of the highest melting points of any metal (1768.3 C, 3214.9 F). As platinum is an expensive material, we do not maintain any platinum items in stock . Phenol Balls Bakelite Balls Phenol Formaldehyde Balls Unlike most other plastic balls, this material is a thermosetting plastic. This means that once this material has been heat cured in the mold, it will not melt again. You can raise the temperature of this plastic until it incinerates, but it will not melt. This material is much harder than any other commercially available plastic ball. It must be compression molded or catalyzed in a mold at high temperature, which makes it much more expensive than thermo plastics that can be injection molded. Ren 41 Ren 41 is an extremely tough high temperature nickel-chrome-molybdenum alloy. The machinability of this material is the very lowest of any commercially available alloy. But once the blank is machined, grinding and lapping are no problem. High quality balls can be produced from this material. Tantalum Balls / Tantalum Beads Tantalum balls or beads find frequent use as radiographic markers, because of their bio-compatibility. These balls can be implanted to form three dimensional markers for orthopedic evaluation after surgery. A ring of these radio graphically opaque markers are used at both ends of stints and shunts, providing a well defined address for the implanted devices. This material is used as an x-ray-opaque tracer in medical implants. An attached ball will define the position of a catheter. Tantalum is a very dense heavy metal (Ta) atomic weight is 180.947, density: 16.6g/cm^3. Unlike tungsten, it is very ductile and malleable. It will produce no reaction with either hydrochloric acid ( HCL) or nitric acid (HNO3). When Tantalum is implanted in a patient, it must be processed according to specification ASTM F560 (Medical Grade). See our sister site, www.tantalumbeads.com, for more information. See our shopping cart for available stock. Titanium Titanium Balls are made in two popular titanium materials. The first is basically pure titanium. This material, grade 2, is widely used in medical applications, where it is frequently used in body implants because it is very bio-compatible. The second, and by far the most frequently used alloy is 6AL4V (6 % Aluminum, 4% Vanadium) titanium. This alloy is available in a variety of wire and bar forms for easy processing into precision balls. Satin finished titanium balls are used as calibration devices for optical inspection devices. Titanium has an unusual hexagonal close-pack atomic structure, as contrasted with a face-centered or a body-centered cubic of most metallic elements. Tungsten Balls Tungsten has one of the highest melting points of any available metal. This is one of the heaviest metals. It is hard, tough, and non-magnetic. This metal is expensive and it is very difficult to machine, grind, or lap. Very high-quality balls can be produced from this material. Waspaloy Balls Waspaloy is one of the older exotic alloys used in high temperature applications. This material is very expensive and is only available in a limited number of shapes. Aluminum Oxide (Ceramic Ball) Aluminum Oxide is an almost white ceramic. Chemically it is Al2O3, also known as alumina balls or aloxite balls . This material is extremely hard. It has excellent electrical insulation properties. It is one of the least expensive and most widely used ceramic ball materials. It is very wear resistant, and it is very stiff with a young's modulus (YM) of elasticity of approximately 45,000,000 pounds per square inch. It can only be used in bearings at low speeds and very light loads. Star J and #3 are the alloys most frequently used for balls. They are very hard and wear-resistant. Silicon Nitride (Ceramic Ball) Silicon Nitride (Si3N4) ceramic has become the standard ceramic ball material for hybrid Ball Bearings. This material is very hard, over 2000 Knoop, and very wear resistant. The weight of silicon nitride balls is only 40% of steel at 3.2 grams per cm (cubic centimeter) . This material is hot isostatic pressed from 1 to 3 micro powder, has excellent fracture toughness even at elevated temperature, and ball quality as good as AFBMA grade-5 can be achieved on this material. Silicon nitride has excellent dielectric properties and extremely high resistivity (insulating properties). More Information For more information on engineering materials, see the site matweb.com .

The best possible aid to spark testing is to have balls of known materials to compare the sparks with. Break the spark into the three characteristics of color, length, and incineration (side sparks or bursts). Add the information regarding the hardness, magnetism and corrosion resistance and you will be able to nail down ninety five percent of the ball materials.

For bearings and ball screws with balls from 1/16" (.0625 inch, 1.59 mm) to 5/8" (.625 inch, 15.9 mm), A.F.B.M.A. grade-25 is a good commercial quality that is good enough for most commercial applications.

Request a ball grade chart, printed on plastic, from our office to better understand the quality and grade specifications and one will be sent to you free of charge. It is available as a download from our web site.

In valve and plumbing applications, much softer corrosive-resistant materials are often used. It is very expensive to produce the highest quality balls in these soft stainless steel and non-ferrous materials. The high quality balls in these materials are usually Grade 100 and good commercial quality balls are Grade 200. Call our office for technical assistance.

Type 1018 soft mild steel has a very low carbon content. This steel is not hard. It can be machined, drilled and tapped. This material is highly magnetic. It will be strongly attracted by a magnet. This is one of the most weldable steel alloys. Hardness is rated at 28 HRC.

17-4 PH is one of the family of precipitation hardened nickel based alloys. It combines high strength and good corrosion resistance with moderate hardness. It is hardened by soaking at an elevated temperature for a period of time.

The most common soaking temperature is 900 F. This heat treating is referred to as H-900. In the solution annealed condition, this material has moderately good machining properties. 15-5 PH is another of the common PH alloys.

If the application isn't too severe, type 316 stainless steel may be used. The 300 series stainless steels are basically an alloy of 18% chromium and 8% nickel with the balance ferrite (iron). This material is dead soft at about 30 HRC (Hardness Rockwell "C" scale), and is almost non magnetic in the annealed condition.

In pneumatic systems, there is usually water or water vapor present. To prevent rust, type 316 stainless steel is used. The spark test will yield only tiny red tracers. This material will not respond to any of the corrosion tests. It is almost non-magnetic. It is dead soft and the file test will put an immediate flat on the ball.

Type 420 hard stainless steel is the material widely used in Europe. It is very similar to type 440C, which is more widely used in the United States. Type 420 is not quite as hard as the type 440C. One of the advantages of 420 over type 440C is that it has a higher magnetic permeability, so that it is attracted more strongly by a magnetic field.

440C Stainless Steel is one of the most amazing standard ball materials. It is a very high chromium, high carbon, martensitic stainless steel. Martensite is the very hard state of a high carbon steel. When heat treated from the spherodize annealed condition, it forms an extremely fine grain structure. For hardening, it must be raised to 1900 F. It will harden to 58 - 63 HRC. It is usually at the low end of this range, when tempered at 400 F

If the bearing is used in a corrosive or wet environment, it may be a type 440C hard martensitic stainless steel. This material is very magnetic and it is hard, but it is not as hard as chrome steel. It is about 58 HRC (Hardness Rockwell "C" scale). This material is only mildly corrosive resistant and will only respond to corrosion tests with slight pitting. It will eventually corrode in tap water and will not stand up to sea water at all. It is widely used as a premium bearing material and it is the top material for use in gaging products. See our article, Stainless Steel Balls, Type 440C Hardened for more information.

1100 series aluminum is commercially pure aluminum. It is a very light weight material that is a silvery white color, one of the natural base elements, and very ductile. Balls made of 1100 series aluminum are often used as closures. They are squashed or upset to permanently close a hole (an inside diameter). It is difficult to locate this material in less than mill-run quantities.

2017 aluminum is a copper alloy of aluminum that was originally developed for the manufacture of rivets. Its number one quality is that it can be safely cold-headed, which makes it an excellent choice as a material for precision balls. This is the aluminum alloy specified by Mil-B-1083, the generally accepted military specification for precision balls. This alloy has also been chosen by the AFBMA (Anti Friction Bearing Manufacturers Association as a standard ball material. This material is usually heat treated to the "T4" condition. This is not a good choice if the ball is to be anodized. High quality balls can be produced from this alloy.

2024 aluminum alloy is an aluminum copper alloy. It is a high strength material, widely used in aircraft. It can be cold headed. The tensile strength of this alloy can be improved by heat treating. This alloy is not a good choice for hard anodizing as the segregation of copper will form voids and can even cause incineration of the metal during the anodizing process.

6061 Aluminum alloy is a widely used, readily available, aluminum material. This material should never be cold headed--it can develop internal fissures that will lead to catastrophic failure. This alloy has much better machining qualities than 2017 alloy. This alloy is an excellent choice when the balls are to be hard anodized. The tensile strength of this alloy can be improved by heat treating. This aluminum alloy is relatively light at 0.098 lbs/ cu in.

It is very slightly magnetic. An aluminum bronze ball will roll towards a powerful magnet. This material is very resistant to sea water. Some alloys of this material can be heat treated to increase its hardness and tensile strength, but the hardening process reduces corrosive resistance. It is a very good electrical conductor.

A286 is one of the exotic Space Age materials. It has good wear properties. It is corrosion resistant. This material must be heat treated to develop its best physical properties. This material is very expensive. Very high quality balls can be produced from this material.

High quality steel balls of both chrome steel and hard stainless steel can be treated chemically to color the surface black. This black iron phosphate actually penetrates the surface so that the original size and surface quality is not affected. The most common application for this surface treatment is to provide identity for these balls. In some bearing and ball screw applications, two different size balls are used in the same device. The larger diameter balls are load bearing balls, and the smaller diameter black balls are used as spacer balls.

We manufacture and stock a large variety of brass balls. Brass balls are gold or bright yellow in color. The Standard alloy is 70-30, which is 70% copper and 30% zinc. The only major problem with the metallurgy of brass is segregation. This is due to the high melting point of copper (3000 F) and the low melting point of zinc (800 F). This material is quite ductile and very malleable. It is corrosive resistant to tap water, but does not stand up well in sea water. It is nonmagnetic, an excellent electrical conductor, and has excellent solder ability with soft solder, but may require chemical cleaning to remove an oxide layer. Brass has a hardness of less than 30 HRC, is very machinable, and it may be drilled and tapped easily. Brass is a relatively heavy material at .275 - .316 lbs/cu in (7.60 - 8.75 g / cc).

Naval Brass or Naval Bronze is very similar to brass, but has an addition of 0.5% to 1.0% tin. This small addition gives to material good corrosive resistance to sea water.Naval brass or bronze is a relatively heavy material at .305 lbs/ cu in. We will custom manufacture special alloys if the material is commercially available. Brass balls are precision ground and polished. They can be produced to AFBMA standards when required. We produce brass balls in all sizes from the sub-miniature to very large diameters.

We manufacture copper balls in the entire range of sizes from sub-miniature to several inches in diameter. Pure copper, as well as the many copper alloys, can be used to produce highly accurate precision balls.

Copper, usually oxygen free, has excellent electrical and heat conductivity, as well as good corrosion resistance in many harsh environments. It is nonmagnetic. It is sometimes annealed after all forming and machining is completed, to enhance its electrical properties. It is extremely malleable and ductile. It is very soft, but it is gummy and very difficult to machine, tending to gall easily. It is very solderable, and it is very corrosive resistant to sea water. Copper has a distinctly red color.

Diamond-impregnated balls are used to lap the spherical radius in ball valves. They usually have a stem or handle attached to facilitate holding during the lapping process. See our Diamond Impregnated Ball Lap page for more information.

An obvious use for gold is for jewelry. The nobility of gold meaning its resistance to corrosion and its good electrical conductivity leads to use in electrical applications. Gold has a high level of x-ray opacity and good bio-compatibility, which leads to its use as x-ray markers in medical applications. As gold is such an expensive material, we do not maintain a stock of gold balls.

Hevimet is usually sintered from powdered tungsten and powdered copper. Its very heavy weight makes it an alternative to lead in some uses. It is machinable, and unlike lead it is biologically safe. Ball's made of this material are used as counter-weights, and to add mass to mechanical structures.

High speed steel such as M50 and M10 or T15 are usually reserved for hot end bearings and high temperature ball screw applications. These materials are not corrosive resistant and will react to any of the corrosive tests. These materials are very hard. They will test up to 65 HRC. They will be strongly attracted by a magnet.

Inconel 7-18 is truly an aerospace metal. Inconel is hard and strong. It will continue to perform at high temperatures. It will also perform at temperatures so cold that hydrogen is a liquid. These low temperatures are so cold that there is a special word for it, cryogenic.

The highest quality is required for these aerospace oriented balls. In many cases, every single individual ball must have its own pedigree accompanying it. This will include the physical and chemical analysis of the individual bar of material, an ultrasonic examination, and the heat treating process that was performed on it. Along with this will be the diameter of the ball on three orthogonal axii and three polar charts of the roundness taken on three orthogonal axii.

A rocket engine using inconel balls depends on the integrity of each individual ball, making them crucial parts of the rocket engine. In addition, Inconel is highly corrosive resistant. It is precipitation hardened. This metal alloy must be heat-treated to develop its good physical properties. Care should be exercised in specifying the desired heat treatment as the furnace time for some processes may be very long and therefore, very expensive.

There are a number of different Monel alloys, a trademark of Special Metals Corp.. The basic alloy has a minimum of 23% copper and minimum of 60% nickel with small amounts of iron and manganese. This material is very tough but not very hard. It is not heat treatable. Monel is used in very corrosive environments. It is excellent in salt water applications such as valves for sea water. It is also used in the food processing industry.

We make Monel balls in a wide range of sizes. Due to its relatively soft nature, AFBMA grade 200 is the normal quality specification, although grade 100 can be achieved with some difficulty. It is relatively soft at about 38 HRC, and it is difficult to drill and tap.

MP35N finds use for check valve applications where no other metal could ever survive. In down hole control valves where the chemistry of the environment would eat a stainless steel ball, balls made of this material will last indefinitely.

This material is so tough that producing precision balls from it is a major problem. It cannot be cold headed at all. The forging temperatures are extreme. Like many of the exotic metals, MP35N can be lapped to a very high level of quality, once the spherical blank has been produced.

Platinum balls are widely used in high reliability electrical contacts. For this application, the platinum is alloyed with a small percentage of other elements. In the United States, it is usually alloyed with iridium; and in Europe, it is alloyed with nickel. These toughening and hardening metals have only a slight effect on the properties of the platinum. Platinum is the most noble of metals and is impervious to attack by most acids and bases. Platinum has one of the highest melting points of any metal (1768.3 C, 3214.9 F).

Unlike most other plastic balls, this material is a thermosetting plastic. This means that once this material has been heat cured in the mold, it will not melt again. You can raise the temperature of this plastic until it incinerates, but it will not melt. This material is much harder than any other commercially available plastic ball.

Ren 41 is an extremely tough high temperature nickel-chrome-molybdenum alloy. The machinability of this material is the very lowest of any commercially available alloy. But once the blank is machined, grinding and lapping are no problem. High quality balls can be produced from this material.

Tantalum balls or beads find frequent use as radiographic markers, because of their bio-compatibility. These balls can be implanted to form three dimensional markers for orthopedic evaluation after surgery. A ring of these radio graphically opaque markers are used at both ends of stints and shunts, providing a well defined address for the implanted devices. This material is used as an x-ray-opaque tracer in medical implants. An attached ball will define the position of a catheter. Tantalum is a very dense heavy metal (Ta) atomic weight is 180.947, density: 16.6g/cm^3. Unlike tungsten, it is very ductile and malleable. It will produce no reaction with either hydrochloric acid ( HCL) or nitric acid (HNO3). When Tantalum is implanted in a patient, it must be processed according to specification ASTM F560 (Medical Grade).

Titanium Balls are made in two popular titanium materials. The first is basically pure titanium. This material, grade 2, is widely used in medical applications, where it is frequently used in body implants because it is very bio-compatible. The second, and by far the most frequently used alloy is 6AL4V (6 % Aluminum, 4% Vanadium) titanium. This alloy is available in a variety of wire and bar forms for easy processing into precision balls. Satin finished titanium balls are used as calibration devices for optical inspection devices.

Tungsten has one of the highest melting points of any available metal. This is one of the heaviest metals. It is hard, tough, and non-magnetic. This metal is expensive and it is very difficult to machine, grind, or lap. Very high-quality balls can be produced from this material.

Aluminum Oxide is an almost white ceramic. Chemically it is Al2O3, also known as alumina balls or aloxite balls . This material is extremely hard. It has excellent electrical insulation properties. It is one of the least expensive and most widely used ceramic ball materials. It is very wear resistant, and it is very stiff with a young's modulus (YM) of elasticity of approximately 45,000,000 pounds per square inch. It can only be used in bearings at low speeds and very light loads. Star J and #3 are the alloys most frequently used for balls. They are very hard and wear-resistant.

Silicon Nitride (Si3N4) ceramic has become the standard ceramic ball material for hybrid Ball Bearings. This material is very hard, over 2000 Knoop, and very wear resistant. The weight of silicon nitride balls is only 40% of steel at 3.2 grams per cm (cubic centimeter) .

This material is hot isostatic pressed from 1 to 3 micro powder, has excellent fracture toughness even at elevated temperature, and ball quality as good as AFBMA grade-5 can be achieved on this material. Silicon nitride has excellent dielectric properties and extremely high resistivity (insulating properties).

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