A Ball bearing is a type of rolling element consisting of spherical balls. It is designed to facilitate rotatory motion in different machines. For instance, these are commonly used in cars, refrigerators, engines, medical equipment, and rotatory motion machines. Ball bearings serve three main functions besides facilitating motion; these are used to carry loads, decrease friction, and ensure smooth motion of moving parts of various machinery. The purpose of balls is to separate two bearing rings, namely inner and outer rings, to reduce surface contact and friction across moving parts.
The reason is that the rubbing of two flat plates causes a high amount of friction, which hinders the machine's functioning. To deal with it, ball bearings are installed in the machines because the balls are sandwiched between two metallic plates or rings move in rotatory fashion. The steel balls used in the bearings come in different grades and sizes. Due to the latter reason, ball bearings are also called SS balls. As far as the manufacturing requirements are concerned, the American bearing Manufacturers Association specifies the properties of the SS balls. It is that organization that sets standards for precision. Once approved by ABMA, SS ball manufacturer are assigned the task.
What Materials Are Used in The Making of SS Balls?
The material choice is subjective to the material of the ring. Based on the latter factor, SS balls come in different sizes and materials. The choice of material should ensure that it helps separate inner and outer rings, thereby mitigating the chances of friction. The reason balls material is important is because when it comes to thermal maintenance systems, cooling and heating of balls matter in the smooth motion of rings. Besides, ball quality also impacts the function of ball bearings. Some of the most common types of materials used in the making of SS balls are discussed below.
Balls In Metallic Bearings
Roller Bearing Steel 1.3505/100Cr6
Hardened steel balls are used in metallic ball bearings. Most commonly, chrome steel is used, which consists of 1% carbon and 1.5% chrome. Steel balls are widely used due to their durability and longevity, governed by the physical and chemical properties of steel balls. Besides, due to steel, these balls are capable of continuous functioning. However, the lubrication process of these tasks is relatively tricky, but apart from that, Roller Steel bearings are perfect for use.
Balls in Plastic Bearings
Stainless steel 1.4401 and 14401 (SS316L)
Plastic bearings use unhardened and soft ss balls. These balls are known for their anti-corrosive properties, therefore, enhancing the longevity of the machine. In addition, these balls are resistant to salt and acidic water likewise. The maximum permissible load is already limited by the limits of the material in the plastic rings.
Balls In Glass Bearings
Soda-lime glass is a type of glass bearing that is used when a non-metallic ball bearing is used. In addition, if a machine requires high chemical resistance, glass balls bearings are used in such instances. These ball bearings are used in the manufacturing machines that produce glass bottles such as beverages or water bottles etc. Due to their high chemical resistance, these balls are used in applications that use chemicals. The reason they are called soda-lime is due to their green color.
Balls in Ceramic Bearings
Aluminium oxide Al2O3
Ceramic balls are made up of aluminium oxide or oxide ceramics. Due to their polycrystalline structure, they are widely used in machines. The ceramic balls are usually lightweight and possess good abrasion and thermal resistance. In addition, these balls are resistant to corrosion, so they can be used in machines involving water or other fluids. However, ceramic balls show poor resistance against strong acids like HCL, HFL, sulphuric acid, and alkaline solutions.