A titanium ball is a nonmagnetic, light weight metal that has good mechanical properties and excellent corrosion resistance. Titanium balls are typically used in a variety of applications, including aerospace, chemical, medical and precision instruments.
Material Selection – Choosing the Right Materials
There are many different types of steels and alloys that can be used to make balls, but some of them will not stand up to corrosive test methods. When looking for a ball that will stand up to corrosive tests, you need to look for a hardened steel ball with a high HRC or a nonferrous or totally non-magnetic material.
Some of the most common stainless steels can become slightly magnetic when cold work-hardened, especially 300 series stainless steel. These can be a problem for many applications where the ball will have to rotate on a shaft.
Brass, bronze and aluminum-bronze are nonferrous materials, but they will have a slight attraction to a magnet. They are often used in plumbing and valve applications.
The most expensive, but the highest quality titanium alloy, is TiAl6V4. It has excellent machining qualities, and can be heat treated to develop its best physical properties.
Another highly-tough material, MP35N, can be forged into a very high quality spherical blank but must be hot worked forge. It can also be lapped to a very high level once it is spherical.
It is extremely durable and can withstand down hole control valve applications where the chemistry of the environment would eat a stainless steel ball. It is also biocompatible.