- Light duty ball transfer units are ideal for conveying applications requiring ball ‘up’ orientation.
- Pressed steel units are lubricated for life and most types have alternative material options to suit service in diverse operating environments.
- LP ‘Plastic’ units are non-magnetic, lightweight and offer complete corrosion resistance.
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Orientation Horizontal / Up
Light-Duty Ball Transfer Units
Light-Duty Ball Transfer Units (except LP series) – Construction
Light-duty ball transfer units are assembled from pressed sheet steel components, except for the LP series which are machine turned from an acetal solid bar. All light-duty ball transfer unit designs feature a hemispherical cup for the recirculation of the small supporting balls. This allows a smooth rotation of the protruding, load-bearing ball. All light-duty ball transfer units (except LP) feature a heat-treated support cup which is resistant to wear.
Material configurations for light-duty ball transfer units (except LP series)
- Standard – zinc plated sheet steel pressings and carbon steel balls for general indoor use
- Part numbers ending in A denotes stainless steel balls within zinc plated pressed steel, offering increased corrosion or temperature resistance
- Part numbers ending SS use corrosion-resisting all stainless steel construction, which resists corrosion and high – low temperatures best
- Part numbers ending with D use an acetal (POM) main ball for the gentle conveying of delicate items which may be prone to marking/scratching
LP series – Light-Duty Ball Transfer Units – Construction
LP differ from other light-duty ball transfer units as they are precision machined from solid polyoxymethylene (POM). Which is a high-grade engineering polymer (plastic).
LP ball units are fitted with either Delrin balls or AISI 316 marine-grade stainless steel balls (add suffix ‘A’).
This austenitic grade of stainless steel has exceptional resistance to corrosive attack by salt or seawater. Marine grades of CR stainless steels are relatively soft so offer limited load-carrying capacity. LP ball transfer units are non-magnetic and offer excellent resistance to chemical attacks.
If non-marking properties are required, also consider our light-duty L series units and M series units with the suffix ‘D’ ball upgrade. They are dimensionally compiled with the LP series.
These Euro ball units offer delicate conveying of painted or sensitive surfaces. Both can use K-clips (galvanised sheet steel) and C-clips (stainless steel) for rapid fitting and replacement.
Ball transfer units with a main ball larger than 19mm (3/4”) in diameter, incorporate a felt seal to reduce ingress of contaminants, fluids and debris.
Most light-duty ball transfer units are assembled for life with light machine oil to prevent tarnishing during transit and storage.
The following light-duty ball transfer units are assembled dry (without lubrication):
- “SS” suffix – all stainless steel units
- “D” Delrin/POM ball upgrade units
- ‘Plastic’ LP series range
What about wet, dirty operating environments?
Standard materials utilise a case-hardened, ferrous internal support cup – sometimes called a ball race. With steel pressings and carbon steel balls, ideal in clean, dry, indoor use.
Difficult operating conditions may require other materials to better suit the environment. High temperature and corrosive environments require stainless steel to better resist high/low heat, chemical and corrosive attacks:
- Suffix “SS” – all parts in stainless steel for maximum resistance.
- Suffix “A” – stainless steel balls only.
- AISI420 stainless steel has a lower hardness than standard materials so please reduce the maximum carrying capacity as specified.
Why do plastic balls (suffix ‘D’) reduce the load capacity so much?
Softer POM plastic balls are made from Delrin. Sometimes also referred to as nylon, nylon 66 or acetal. Can be specified by adding the suffix “D”, for example, L15D.
The plastic material is softer so it will reduce the load-carrying capacity of the ball unit. Due to it providing a softer point of contact and reducing product marking of delicate or painted surfaces. As the (softer) main ball is less likely to mark, the load capacity has to reduce.
We offer other ball materials (Teflon, acrylic) custom-built for your application.
Save time by using Fixing Clips
Where only single-sided access to the conveying plane is available, fixing clips provide a convenient, fast fixing method for L & LP series light-duty ball transfer units.
This spring clip can be fitted to punched or laser-cut bores, the spring clip will compensate for irregularities in bore diameter and ovality. Thus eliminating costly machining of a precise seating bore for ball transfer unit retention.
Clips can be reused and are available in most sizes. Also, consider tolerance rings for retention.
Range & fixing options
L – Drop in series
Low-profile pressed steel ball units drop into socket fitting with reinforced circular top flange collar. Optional K-clips, C-clips and tolerance rings for quick fixing.
LP – Plastic Ball Units series
Dimensionally comparable to both L and M series euro ball units. Low profile plastic ball units which drop in socket flange fitting collar. Suffix A denotes food-grade AISI316 stainless steel balls offering exceptional resistance to chemical attack. Optional K-clips, C-clips and tolerance rings for rapid fixing are available.
LD – Saturn series
Flying saucer ball units with convenient mid-profile fixing flange. 2 hole and 3 hole fixing ideal for pop riveting to provide a flush panel mounting or low profile counter mount fixing. Consider fluid and debris exit holes when providing seating bore/diameter.
LF – Flange mount 2 hole and 4 hole series
High-profile flange mount ball transfer units with integral 2 bolt or 4 bolt base fixing. LF26 features ‘2 slot variable fixing points’; 2 slots which allow for variance in fixing hole centres. Panel fit to countertop to create a flexible conveying plane.
LM – spring-loaded series
Internal coil spring equalises loads and compensates for conveying irregularities. 25.4mm / 1” ball unit with integral nylon wiper seal partially retracts within the outer case as support load increases.
Why do L series, M series (medium duty) and LP series units look similar?
All 3 types are dimensionally equivalent.
- L series are assembled from stamped pressings to reduce production costs and value.
- M series are machined from steel bars for improved load, wear and shock resistance.
- LP series are machined from solid plastic material to improve resistance to chemical attacks.
L, M and LP series ball units are compatible for use with rapid K-clips and C-clips spring fixing clips.
Why should I consider heavy duty ball transfers?
If your application requires:
- Full load/maximum carrying capacity in the inverted (ball down or castor) position.
- Lowest coefficient of friction 1:005 μ (0,5%) break away point of inertia.
- Operating temperature less than -30 degrees centigrade (C/F) or higher than 100 degrees.
- Operating speed greater than 1 meter per second (3 feet/second).
- Shock loading – consider spring loaded and pre-stressed spring heavy duty ball units.
- Arduous conditions requiring bespoke material specifications.
LD32SS and LD32/3SS flying saucer ball units are stamped from stainless steel pressings and balls. And they omit the felt seals.
These units feature 7 drain holes and were designed for air cargo, and suitcase/luggage handling in airports. Due to increased loads and demands these have largely been superseded by the MX30 & MV30 air cargo units. However, they are still widely used in x-ray scanners, maintenance trolleys and ball platform tables worldwide.
LP series units are widespread in pharmaceutical and food preparation facilities. Specifically with food grade AISI316 stainless balls.
Spring cushioning LM series is suited to the turntable, work holding applications. They can often be combined with pneumatic ball transfers and pneumatic stops for automated assembly stations.
Discover our range of light-duty ball transfer units here.
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