Aluminum Balls

Precision aluminum balls are usually made of type 2017 aluminum that is solution annealed and allowed to self age to the T4 condition. Aluminum balls are light, corrosion resistant and have excellent electrical conductivity. Aluminum is not a high strength metal, but it has a high strength to weight ratio. This material and condition meet the Military Specification as spelled out in Mil-B-1083.

2017 is an aluminum copper alloy consisting of 94 percent aluminum and 4 percent copper. 2017 aluminum alloy was originally developed to produce rivets. Unlike many of the other high strength alloys of aluminum, 2017 is very cold headable. On the other hand, we have seen 6061 aluminum balls that have been cold headed with internal cracks that spanned 80% of the balls' diameter.

Hard Anodize

A thick anodic coating (0.001”) (0.025mm) buildup can be applied to some aluminum alloys. This coating will greatly improve the wear property of the raw aluminum. 2017 is not a good choice of aluminum alloy for hard anodizing. Type 6061 or 7075 are very good applicants for hard anodize. When alloys other than 2017 are required, it is always important that the blanks not be cold headed.

  2017 aluminum T4 6061 aluminum T6
The ultimate Tensile strength 62 KSI 45 KSI
The yield strength 40 KSI 40 KSI
The elongation 22% 22%

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