These balls can be made from either Alumina Oxide, Zirconia Oxide or Silicon Nitride and have several advantages over their steel equivalents.
They're 40% less dense than steel, have a 29% lower thermal expansion (so they hold their shape better when the temperature changes) and are 150% harder.
Lightweight, hard and tough, with a low mass, these balls are particularly suited to environments which demand arduous, high speed bearing applications, for example machine tool spindles and vacuum pumps.
Because they're so hard this reduces the amount of friction present and thus more of the energy is converted to work, making them more efficient; in some high-speed applications ceramic balls can last 100 times longer than steel. They're also inert (chemically inactive) to most substances, so they offer excellent corrosion resistance.
You'll find these used in the automotive and aviation industries (their durability and light weight makes them perfect for use in aircraft braking assemblies for example) and they're often found in many of the items that once used more traditional metal balls, like aerosol paint cans, all manner of joints and slides (like car seats and safety restraints) as well as castors, ball transfer units, quick disconnect couplings and various kinds of fasteners.
|Alumina Oxide||Zirconia Oxide||Silicon Nitride|
|Composition||99.5% Al2O3 / 0.5% other||97% ZrO2 / 3% MgO||87% Si3N4 / 13% other|
|Hardness||1700 Hv||80 - 84 Ra||1400 - 1700 Hv|
|Ultimate Tensile Strength||31,000 psi||60,000 psi||-|
|Ultimate Compressive Strength||>300,000 psi||285,000 psi||>570,000 psi|
|Modulus of Elasticity||53 x106 psi||29 x106 psi||44-45 x106 psi|
|Maximum Working Temperature||1400oC||2400oC||1000oC|
|Corrosion Resistance||Inert except for hydrofluoric and hot concentrated sulphuric acids.||Inert to most substances, not recommended for environments of hydrochloric or strong alkaline solutions.||Inert to most substances.|
Accuracy is our trademark at TN UK. We pride ourselves on our ability to measure and calibrate the products we manufacture. Housing some of the most sophisticated equipment in the world, our annually assessed UKAS lab means we guarantee the precision of the products we supply.
On top of that, we maintain regular and open communication directly with you and any relevant departments to ensure that you get exactly what you need when you need it.
We also offer a recalibrate service for your existing gauges, CMM Reference balls and Master Ball Sets. So you can rest assured that, whether we are supplying a new product or recalibrating an existing one, by meeting our strict standards, your company meets its strict standards (particularly important for other calibration assessed companies).