Bal-tec™ Home Very Small Snake Balls
We have some medical customers who need Snake Ball Gages that are very small in diameter. Two factors get involved when using very small Ball Plug Gages with a hole in them. The first is that the rim that is left after the hole is drilled through a standard hard steel ball is very brittle and will literally disintegrate if the slightest force is applied to it. For this reason, miniature Snake Ball Gages are usually made of a much tougher and more ductile 300 series stainless steel.
The other problem is how to hold the snake ball in place on the long very small diameter wire. The holding force of the strongest glue will only provide a tiny fraction of an ounce. To increase the holding force to a usable level we add pieces of tubing to the wire in front of and behind the ball. If a ball on the very end of the wire can be used, we can induction braze very small tungsten carbide balls on the end of very small wire. This technique has proved to be very successful. See also, our page on "Snake Balls."