This section provides an overview for alumina balls as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 10 alumina ball manufacturers and their company rankings.
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An alumina ball is widely used for grinding and polishing due to its durability and stability. When solids are crushed or ground mechanically, the result can be uneven or non-uniform. Therefore, by mixing them together with a hard spherical object called alumina ball, it is crushed uniformly, and by changing the particle size of the alumina ball, they can be ground to a fine powder-like powder.
Aluminum, the raw material for alumina, is abundant on Earth and can be produced inexpensively, making alumina ball the standard material used.
By placing alumina balls of appropriate size in a mill or other special equipment and agitating them, glass, viscosity, and other materials are crushed to a fine powder. Metal surfaces can be polished by putting alumina balls and the metal to be polished together with the slurry for polishing and stirring it.
The materials to be agitated, ground, mixed, and polished in the mill range from soft materials such as clay to hard materials such as glass and metals, which require high strength and abrasion resistance.
Alumina refers to aluminum oxide, and is often used as the name for aluminum oxide powder that is compressed and processed at high temperatures. Alumina balls are made of aluminum oxide, but they are made harder by forming the alumina powder into a spherical shape and then processing it at high temperatures. Because of this high-temperature treatment, they are often referred to as ceramics.
Alumina itself is light and chemically stable due to its low density. It can withstand high temperatures, is resistant to acids and alkalis, has high abrasion resistance, and has no known adverse effects on the human body.
When alumina balls are placed in a mill together with the material to be ground, such as glass fragments, and stirred, the hard alumina balls compress and break the glass. This causes the glass fragments to gradually become smaller and smaller, and eventually they are reduced to a powder. In the case of grinding, the alumina balls are put into the mill with water or an abrasive, and when stirred, the alumina balls scrape the surface of the metal to be ground.
The main ingredient of alumina balls are aluminum oxide (Al2O3), but general-purpose alumina balls are sintered by adding a few percent of silicon dioxide (SiO2) or magnesium oxide (MgO) as a sintering aid in addition to alumina powder, the raw material. Therefore, the purity of the product is generally 90-95%. This type of general-purpose product is used for general pulverizing applications.
On the other hand, in the above manufacturing process, silicon dioxide, etc. added to the sintered body are unevenly distributed at the crystal interface (grain boundary), resulting in low strength at the interface and inferior durability and corrosion resistance. In contrast, there are high-purity alumina balls in which sintering aids are reduced by processing at high temperatures near the melting point of alumina.
High-purity alumina balls have a purity of 99.5% or higher and are superior in hardness and strength, making them suitable for grinding materials that would cause wear with general-purpose balls and for applications where contamination of components other than Al should be avoided. They also have excellent corrosion resistance, so they are used when corrosion is a concern, such as under strong acidic or alkaline conditions.
Alumina balls are inexpensive and readily available ceramic balls, but there are many other types of ceramic balls made of various materials.
Since alumina balls have the strength and properties suitable for general grinding and dispersion applications, they are usually the first choice, and other materials should be considered when there are special requirements.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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Stanford Advanced Materials was established in 1994 in Lake Forest, California to provide rare-earth products for research and development purposes. Stanford Advanced Materials serves many industries ranging from automotive to fashion to energy to research to sports to textiles. Stanford Advanced Materials manufactures and distributes purified metals, ceramics, composite materials including strips, plates, rods, wires, and bars, as well as laboratory equipment and optical equipment including crystals, lenses, splitters, and windows.
American Elements was founded in 1997 in California and currently has research and production facilities in Utah, Mexico, China, and the United Kingdom. AE manufactures and distributes advanced materials from a catalog of over 30,000 products for bulk industrial use as well as small scale laboratory use. AE also provides testing and analyses services including spectroscopy along with structural, thermal, and electrical analyses. AE holds sustainable development as a core corporate value and is committed to work to protect the health of the environment.
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