Light Duty Ball Transfer Units
- 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.
Light duty Ball Units (except LP series) - Construction.
Light duty ball units are assembled from pressed sheet steel components, except for LP series which are machine turned from Acetal solid bar. All light duty ball unit designs feature a hemispherical cup for recirculation of the small supporting balls which allow smooth rotation of the protruding, load-bearing ball. All light duty units (except LP) feature a heat-treated support cup which is resistant to wear.
Material configurations for light duty units (except LP series):
- Standard - zinc plated sheet steel pressings & carbon steel balls for general indoor use.
- Part numbers ending in A denotes stainless steel balls within zinc plated pressed steel to offering increased corrosion or temperature resistance
- Part numbers ending SS use corrosion resisting all stainless steel construction which resist corrosion & high - low temperatures best.
- Part numbers ending with letter D use Acetal (POM) main ball for gentle conveying of delicate items which may be prone to marking / scratching
LP series - Light duty Ball Units- Construction.
LP differ from other light duty 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 & offer excellent resistance to chemical attack
If non-marking properties are required, also consider our light duty L series units & M series units with suffix ‘D’ ball upgrade which are dimensionally compile with the LP series. These Euro Ball Units offer delicate conveying of painted or sensitive surfaces & can use both K-clips (galvanised sheet steel) & C-clips (stainless steel) for rapid fitting & replacement.
Ball transfer units with a main ball larger than 19mm (3/4”) diameter, incorporate a felt seal to reduce ingress of contaminants, fluids & debris.
Most light duty Ball transfer units are assembled for life with light machine oil to prevent tarnishing during transit & storage.
The following light-duty range Ball Transfers 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 & carbon steel balls, ideal in clean, dry, indoor use.
Difficult operating conditions may require other materials to better suit the environment. High temperature & corrosive environments require stainless steel to better resist high / low heat, chemical & corrosive attack:
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 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 suffix “D” (for example L15D).
The plastic material is softer so will reduce the load carrying capacity of the ball unit as it will provide a softer point of contact & will also reduce 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 to 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 ball transfers. This spring clip can be fitted to punched or laser cut bores & the spring clip will compensate for irregularities in bore diameter & ovality, thus eliminating costly machining of a precise seating bore for Ball transfer unit retention.
Clips can be reused & are available for most sizes. Also consider tolerance rings for retention.
Range & fixing options
L – Drop in series
Low profile pressed steel ball units which drop-in to socket fitting with reinforced circular top flange collar. Optional K-clips, C-clips & tolerance rings for quick fixing where only single sided access to the conveying plane is available.
LP – Plastic Ball Units series
Dimensionally comparable to both L & 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 & tolerance rings for rapid fixing when only single-sided access to the conveying plane is available.
LD – Saturn series
Flying saucer Ball Units with convenient mid-profile fixing flange. 2 hole & 3 hole fixing ideal for pop riveting to provide a flush panel mounting or low profile counter mount fixing. Consider fluid & debris exit holes when providing seating bore / diameter.
LF - Flange mount 2 hole & 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 with allow for variance in fixing hole centres. Panel fit to counter top to create a flexible conveying plane.
LM – spring loaded series
Internal coil spring equalises loads & compensates for conveying irregularities. 25.4mm / 1” ball unit with integral nylon wiper seal partially retracts within outer case as support load increases.
Why do L series, M series (medium duty) & LP series units look similar?
All 3 types are dimensionally equivalent.
- L series are assembled from stamped pressings to reduce production costs & value.
- M series are machined from steel bar for improved load, wear & shock resistance.
- LP series are machined from solid plastic material to improve resistance to chemical attack.
L, M & 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 & pre-stressed spring heavy-duty ball units
Arduous conditions requiring bespoke material specifications.
LD32SS & LD32/3SS Flying saucer Ball Units are stamped from stainless steel pressings & balls & omit the felt seals. These units feature 7 drain holes & were designed for aircargo, suitcase / luggage handling in airports. Due to increased loads & demands these have largely been superseded by the MX30 & MV30 air cargo units but are still widely used in x-ray scanners, maintenance trolleys & ball platform tables worldwide.
LP series units are widespread in pharmaceutical & food preparation facilities specifically with food grade AISI316 stairless balls.
Spring cushioning LM series are suited to turntable, workholding applications which can often be combined with pneumatic ball transfers & pneumatic stops for automated assembly stations.