This section provides an overview for ball rollers as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 4 ball roller manufacturers and their company rankings.
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A ball roller is a component that holds a ball, such as a metal ball, in a rotatable and partially exposed surface condition. It is sometimes referred to as a freebear or ball caster.
Unlike general casters that use a one-degree-of-freedom rotating mechanism and one-axis rollers, ball rollers can rotate 360 degrees smoothly in any direction.
They are often used as casters for carts to enable free movement in any direction and as conveyance platforms to smoothly move products after packaging in right-angled and diagonal directions.
Ball rollers rotate smoothly in any direction and are used as casters for carts. By installing the required number of ball rollers in addition to two parallel tires, a cart can be oriented easily. Especially in the field of robotics, where responsiveness of movement to tire drive is required, ball rollers tend to be used more frequently than general casters.
Ball rollers can also be used as conveyors that can move and rotate at right angles by installing several upward-facing units on a platform, and are mainly used for sorting products after packaging.
The ball rollers consist of an exposed rotating ball (main ball) supported by several smaller balls (sub-balls) or three rotating shafts, which rotate smoothly while the rotating balls are held in place. This results in a very small coefficient of friction in contact with the surface of the object, greatly reducing the resistance force.
On the other hand, when used as casters, they can move smoothly, but unlike general casters whose surfaces are made of flexible materials such as rubber or resin, the friction coefficient of the surface is low and elastic deformation is almost non-existent, resulting in a low running ability over bumps.
In addition, the ball roller's resistance to rough surfaces increases due to scratches on the ball, and it may not rotate due to contamination by foreign matter.
Ball rollers are made of steel, stainless steel, or POM, an engineering plastic with self-lubricating properties. If the ball rollers are made of metal, it is often injected with lubricant to reduce wear of the main ball and sub-balls, and if the lubricant is removed by washing, dust may be generated due to wear.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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