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Hartford Technologies Blog

The Precision Ball Manufacturing Process

Posted: Oct 29, 2020 4:47:17 PM

Quality control is critical in the manufacturing process of precision balls, especially those used in medical, electronic, and industrial applications. Read on to learn more about steps that should be considered best practices for precision ball manufacturing to ensure utmost quality.

Steps in the Precision Ball Manufacturing Process

  1. Raw materials are inspected.
  2. Cold heading machine - cuts off proper length of the wire material, then forms the cylindrical shape into a roughly spherical shape
  3. Flashing - removes any excess material on the perimeter of the balls
  4. Heat treatment - quench and temper process to decrease internal stresses
    1. Then the balls are rapidly cooled in an oil reservoir to produce martensite for hardness 
  5. Grinding - before and after heat treatment, to bring the ball closer to its final requirements
  6. Lapping - two phenolic plates a very fine abrasive flurry, such as diamond dust, to further decrease surface roughness
  7. Cleaning - removes any processing fluids and residual abrasive materials leftover from the manufacturing process
    1. More rigorous cleaning techniques are employed for balls used in micro-electronics, medical, and food applications
  8. Visual inspection - Every lot is inspected by hand to check for defects and dirt.
  9. Roller gauging - balls are sorted by largest to smallest by the roller gauge. Oversized and undersized balls are eliminated. 
  10. Quality control - Each lot is tested for hardness, diameter, roundness, and surface roughness
  11. Packaging - Balls are packed dry in plastic bags. If the materials are prone to oxidation, vapor corrosion inhibitor paper is included.

Hartford Technologies ensures utmost quality through our rigorous manufacturing and inspection process. If you would like to learn more about our pins, our precision specialty balls, our customized bearing assemblies for medical devices, or any of the other products that we offer at Hartford Technologies, we invite you to contact us today.