Many types of equipment use ball bearings to minimize friction in rotating parts, including automobiles, bicycles, electric appliances, and industrial machinery. Ball bearings are ground to ensure a smooth surface and so that their sphericity is as close to that of a true sphere as possible to reduce resistance.
Ball bearings are typically made of chromium or stainless steel, but ceramics or brass can also be used. During the production process, the surface roughness of ball bearings must be measured accurately to ensure smooth and efficient operation. This is particularly important after the balls have been ground. A bearing will have poor performance if the sphericity and smoothness of the ball’s surface do not meet specifications.
The Olympus Solutions
Noncontact, planar roughness measurements can be made on spherical objects using the Olympus LEXT™ 3D laser measuring microscope to help ensure accuracy and precision.
Unlike conventional contact-type roughness testers, the LEXT laser microscope enables users to easily set the measurement position, even on a minuscule ball. It is also able to capture the roughness measurements of the ball as a planar image and display it in 3D, providing detailed information on the bearing’s roughness.
The traceability of measured values is possible with the microscope, providing reassurance of the accuracy of results. Even subtle surface unevenness is accurately recorded due to the high inclination detection sensitivity.
LEXT Laser Microscope Benefits
Noncontact surface roughness measurements are carried out by the microscope using a laser. 3D, planar roughness measurements are created and recorded with ultra-high-resolution and outstanding accuracy using powerful software. Accurate measurements of complex and steep-sided irregularities can be made with the LEXT microscope thanks to its high inclination sensitivity.
Figure 1: 3D surface measurements of a ball bearing before (left) and after (right) grinding using the LEXT. Image Credit: Olympus Scientific Solutions
This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Olympus Scientific Solutions.
For more information on this source, please visit www.olympus-ims.com