Tantalum Balls or Beads

Tantalum metal is like a blob of metallic putty. Tantalum is very soft, and it is highly ductile. Numerous attempts at producing tantalum balls by our would be competitors have ended up with a layer of foreign particulate that is embedded in the outer surface. Special procedures must be employed to prevent these particles of abrasive and fragments of the grinding tools from migrating into the surface of balls made of tantalum.

There are always more than one hundred individual lots of precision balls in production at any given time. With this large number of relatively small lots of precision balls being produced, our deliveries are fast, and our costs are very modest. In addition to our manufacturing prowess, we have an extraordinary computer controlled quality control system with an extensive array of expensive and in some cases totally unique laboratory measuring equipment. This system is available to assure and document the quality of our finished products.

Talyrond Ball Measuring Machine
We use a Talyrond machine to measure and document the roundness of our balls
(Bad) Chart from Talyrond Machine
This is a ( bad ) example of the polar chart produced on the Talyrond. The inner poly lobular trace was made from a competitor's silicon nitride ball thatwas rated by them as a grade 10. The outer trace was made from a very good quality ball.

Precision spheres used for medical applications include balls or beads used as radiographic targets. These balls define the three dimensional position of an area of interest.

Balls or Beads Used for Orthopedic Markers

Precision balls are used as a closer for medical devices. The target balls or beads are usually made of either gold or tantalum. Tantalum is considered to be the most bio-compatible metal, see: http://www.mrisafety.com. The desirable properties here are good radiographic opacity and bio compatibility. The diameter of these target balls or beads are usually either 0.020 inches (0.5mm) or one millimeter, i.e. 0.040 inches. Tantalum balls of any desired size can be produced. These balls or beads require a good sphericity and a well-defined diameter.

Orthopedic marker balls or beads are always made of tantalum. This material provides excellent radiographic opacity and good bio compatibility. This material has adequate mechanical properties to withstand the impact of insertion. We have made tantalum balls or tantalum beads for medical applications from 0.014” (0.36mm) to 2mm (0.080 inches), but there are no real size limitations except the availability of the raw material. Small quantities of some sizes of Tantalum balls are available from stock. Present delivery of production quantities is six to eight weeks based on the current lead-time of the raw material.

Titanium closure balls, for medical apparatus, are usually made of medical grade 2 or of the 6AL4V alloy titanium metal. These small diameters, very precise closure balls are press fit into the openings of a medical device that is ultimately implanted into the human body. The compressive stresses imparted to the ball by press fitting it into an under-sized hole, lowers the melting temperature of these balls. This lower temperature melting point helps to localize the liquid phase to the area immediately adjacent to the site of the ball. The fusion or melting process usually incorporates a laser heat source. Closure balls are usually one millimeter in diameter, but they can be made in any diameter to suit specific applications.

See our shopping cart for the Inventory of Available Tantalum Balls.

Tantalum wire that is cut to an exact length, with the corners rounded to a smooth radius is one of the common shapes used. Our Swiss made cutoff machines can accurately cut the cylinders without distorting the outside diameter. Our German made corner radiusing machine can economically produce high quality corner radii.

Email us at info@precisionballs.com or call us at (800) 322-5832 for more information.

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