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Any type of machine uses moving parts in order to generate mechanical work, but the problem with constant motion is that parts are extremely vulnerable to damage, wear, corrosion, rust, and dropping out of place. When damage looms, the quality of composition of materials makes all the difference. Precision steel balls are often used for industrial purposes in machines or motors where a large amount of weight must be balanced without upsetting a fine surface or a side finish. These balls can be the size of ball bearings — smaller than the width of a fingernail — or they can be as large as pool balls.
Chrome is a valuable application for any metallic surface due to the capability to shrug off nearly anything it comes in contact to. A ball that picks up a foreign material is a ball that forces more friction through a machine, increasing the heat payload and possibly slowing down the entire mechanical process. Chrome, however, is extremely resilient to any substances, as anyone who has buffed a car may note. As such, you can find chrome steel in a huge number of equipment ranging from lighters to airplane wings to fold-away beds.
While chrome is quite resistant, it can be corroded away in an acidic environment. As such, stainless steel balls are preferred in place of chrome for parts of machines that have high-intensity usage or require complex chemical operations that would destroy any other type of metal. Not all steel is created equal, however: some have greater hardness and surface finish so that they distribute weight ideally, while others have greater resistance to carrying weight and becoming compact for heavier loads. Stainless steel is prevalent in many devices but especially cars: seat belt locks and anti-lock brakes incorporate these steel orbs in their design.
Some types of steel are magnetized in order to be used with higher-strength metals. Rare earth metals are especially valued
for their incorporation with steel as it will transfer the magnetism from surface to surface and create consistent tension. Not all magnetized balls are pure steel, however, as some have a degree of nickel within for soft, pliable metal. Others have a nickel plating to avoid rust and accumulation of salt.
The value of most precision steel balls lies in their ability to transfer weight across a surface. Engineers who need to create a high-tension device, such as that of a motor with a high degree of torque, use these little steel balls so that their products do not have difficulty under the strain of constant movement. Other motors, ranging from mammoth to tiny, need these to prevent the motion of moving parts from creating friction and heat that damages the machine.