STR Industries is a leading provider of steel ball and steel sphere products, delivering high-quality solutions to clients in the commercial/industrial, automotive, medical, food processing, and defense industries for over 50 years. In addition to offering standard products, our team can customize products to meet customer needs. We are proud of our TS 16949 and ISO 9001 certifications, which are a testament to our commitment to quality.
Here’s how our steel balls are used in different industries.
Traditionally, industries used plastic and ceramic balls for their operations. However, the introduction of high-quality steel balls has been a game changer as they offer better strength, hardness, and toughness. Most steel balls are electrically conductive or can be magnetized. Other types of metal alloy balls can provide corrosion and refractory resistance.
These features make steel balls versatile in many applications, ranging from supporting conveyor belts to enhancing the efficiency of manufacturing processes in commercial and industrial applications. Here’s an overview of the applications of steel balls in various commercial and industrial spaces.
Small metal balls make up various types of bearings, such as deep groove ball bearings, angular contact bearings, and thrust bearings.
Conveyor systems use steel balls to facilitate the movement of materials in manufacturing, logistics, and warehousing facilities.
Casters are the swiveling wheels often found on furniture, carts, and other objects to make them easier to move. Ball bearings are small, round metal balls that reduce friction and enable smooth rotation. When ball bearings are incorporated into caster wheels, they allow for easy and smooth movement in all directions, making it simple to maneuver objects.
Steel balls are used to manufacture precision instruments such as gauges and coordinate measuring machines.
Steel balls play a role in various manufacturing machinery, including punch and die sets, which aid in the precision cutting and shaping of materials.
Steel ball bearings are essential for precise and controlled movement in robotic welding, assembly, and material handling tasks.
Sometimes called mixing balls or mixing beads, agitator balls are small spherical objects placed inside aerosol spray cans or other liquid containers. Their primary purpose is to aid in the thorough mixing and dispersion of the contents when the container is shaken before use. These agitator balls are typically made from materials like stainless steel or glass, which are resistant to corrosion and do not react with the contents of the container. They are also sized appropriately to fit within the container’s neck or opening without causing blockages. Here’s how they work and their purpose:
Spray can agitator balls are designed to move freely within the container. When the can is shaken, these balls bounce around and create turbulence inside, helping to break up clumps, disperse settled particles, and mix the contents thoroughly. This ensures that the product being dispensed (such as paint, spray adhesive, lubricant, or cosmetic product) maintains a consistent and uniform composition.
In certain aerosolized products, such as paints or coatings, particles can settle over time and lead to clogs or uneven spray patterns. Agitator balls help prevent clogging by continuously agitating the contents, ensuring that they are well-mixed and ready for application.
Proper mixing and dispersion of ingredients are crucial for the performance and effectiveness of many liquid or semi-liquid products. Agitator balls help maintain product quality and consistency.
For end-users, the presence of agitator balls makes it easier to prepare and use the product. Shaking the container ensures that the product is ready for application without the need for additional mixing or stirring.
Steel balls can withstand high pressure and heat, so they are used in the automotive industry to ensure smooth and reliable vehicle performance. Their durability and toughness make them the perfect choice for parts such as constant velocity (CV) joints and bearings.
The following are examples of how they work on various vehicle components.
Steel balls are used in various types of bearings throughout vehicles. These bearings handle thrust and radial loads in critical car parts such as the wheel, engine, and transmission system.
CV joints use steel balls to transfer power smoothly from the drive shafts to the wheels and transmission, enabling flexibility and a wide range of motion in the steering and suspension systems.
Ball joints connect the control arms to the steering knuckles and are crucial for precise steering control. Steel ball bearings are used in these joints to enable responsive steering.
In the medical industry, steel balls are valued for their durability and resistance to high heat and pressure. Here are some of the specific applications of steel balls in this industry:
Steel balls are used as grinding media for manufacturing powders and medications, creating consistent particle sizes. Steel balls can also function as agitators in certain products.
Medical equipment such as MRI machines and dental instruments use small metal ball bearings to ensure smooth and precise movements during operations.
Steel balls are used as part of a ball mechanism in drug dispensers and inhalers to move products up through tubes or packaging. This helps deliver accurate doses.
Medical gas delivery systems have ball valves with steel balls, which help to ensure precise control of gas flow in oxygen and anesthesia equipment.
Certain orthopedic implants, such as hip and knee replacements, use steel ball components that fit into sockets to provide articulation and movement.
Steel balls are corrosion-resistant and meet the hygiene and food safety standards required in the food industry. Their use also improves food production efficiency and reliability.
Some of the ways the food industry uses steel balls include:
They're used in food processing machinery to break solid food ingredients into powders or pastes. This is common in the chocolate and cocoa industry as they help grind cocoa beans into powder.Subheader
STR Industries provides strong, durable, and precise steel balls and spheres for the industrial, automotive, food, military, medical, and defense markets. Our quality certifications and ability to customize solutions have made us a trusted partner for many businesses for the last five decades.
Contact us today for more information or to get started with your steel ball solution.
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