Why use Polymer-Plastic Balls instead of metal balls? - High Performance Polymer-Plastic Fastener Components

Why use Polymer-Plastic Balls instead of metal balls?

hese seemingly unassuming spherical components, typically manufactured from advanced materials like Polyetheretherketone (PEEK), have proven to be instrumental in mitigating friction, augmenting durability, and revolutionising mechanical systems across diverse industry sectors. This article delves into the world of high-performance plastic-polymer balls and ball bearings, their multifaceted applications, and the distinct advantages of employing PEEK balls.

Understanding High-Performance Plastic-Polymer Balls

Ball bearings are foundational mechanical components designed to facilitate smooth and low-friction rotation between two moving parts. They typically comprise an outer ring, an inner ring, and a set of balls that roll between these rings. Ball bearings serve to reduce friction generated during relative motion, offering support and stability to rotating or oscillating machinery. While conventional ball bearings are often composed of steel, high-performance plastic-polymer balls and ball bearings are crafted from advanced polymer materials, presenting a range of unique advantages.

High-performance plastic-polymer balls are precisely engineered spheres fashioned from polymers well-regarded for their outstanding mechanical properties. These materials bestow numerous benefits over their steel counterparts, including superior corrosion resistance, self-lubrication, noise mitigation, and reduced weight. Among the array of polymers utilised for ball production, PEEK stands out as a prominent and versatile choice.

Diverse Applications Across Industry Sectors

High-performance plastic-polymer balls and ball bearings find application across a wide spectrum of industry sectors due to their versatile characteristics and their transformative impact on mechanical systems. Let's explore some key sectors where these components play a pivotal role:

  1. Aerospace Industry: In aviation and aerospace, where precision and reliability are paramount, PEEK balls and ball bearings contribute to weight reduction and ensure smooth operation in critical components such as aircraft engines and landing gear systems.

  2. Automotive Industry: Modern vehicles rely on efficient components to deliver optimal performance. Plastic-polymer balls and ball bearings, including those made from PEEK, are employed in various automotive applications, such as wheel hubs, transmission systems, and electric power steering, where their lightweight and low-friction properties are highly advantageous.

  3. Medical Devices: The healthcare sector demands components that are biocompatible and resistant to chemical exposure. PEEK balls are utilised in medical devices such as dental handpieces, infusion pumps, and diagnostic equipment due to their excellent biocompatibility and corrosion resistance.

  4. Industrial Manufacturing: In industrial machinery, the use of plastic-polymer balls and ball bearings is widespread. These components are found in conveyor systems, packaging machinery, and industrial robots, where their resistance to wear, noise mitigation, and low-maintenance characteristics make them indispensable.

  5. Oil and Gas Industry: The challenging conditions of the oil and gas sector necessitate materials that can withstand harsh environments. PEEK balls and ball bearings excel in applications such as subsea equipment and drilling machinery, thanks to their resistance to corrosion and high-temperature stability.

  6. Renewable Energy: In renewable energy systems, such as wind turbines and solar trackers, PEEK balls and bearings enhance efficiency and longevity by reducing friction and wear in critical components.

The Advantages of PEEK Balls

Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) is a high-performance thermoplastic polymer renowned for its exceptional mechanical properties, chemical resistance, and durability. These attributes make PEEK balls a preferred choice in a wide array of demanding applications. Here's why PEEK balls are gaining prominence in various industries:

  1. High Temperature Resistance: PEEK balls can withstand extreme temperatures, making them ideal for applications where conventional materials would deform or fail.

  2. Chemical Resistance: PEEK is highly resistant to a wide range of chemicals, including acids, bases, and solvents, making it suitable for use in corrosive environments.

  3. Low Friction Coefficient: PEEK balls offer excellent lubricity and a low friction coefficient, reducing wear and energy consumption in mechanical systems.

  4. Self-Lubricating: PEEK balls possess inherent self-lubricating properties, eliminating the need for external lubrication, which can be a significant advantage in applications where lubricant contamination is a concern.

  5. Dimensional Stability: PEEK exhibits exceptional dimensional stability, ensuring precise and consistent performance over time.

  6. Biocompatibility: PEEK is biocompatible and often used in medical applications, ensuring that it does not have adverse effects on the human body.

  7. Electrical Insulation: PEEK is an excellent electrical insulator, making it suitable for electrical and electronic applications.

  8. Lightweight: PEEK is significantly lighter than metals, contributing to weight reduction and improved energy efficiency in various applications.


High-performance plastic-polymer balls and ball bearings, especially those manufactured from PEEK, have become essential components in contemporary engineering and industry. Their versatility, durability, and resistance to extreme conditions make them indispensable in a broad range of applications, from aerospace and automotive to medical devices and renewable energy systems. As technology continues to advance, high-performance ball bearings will play a pivotal role in enhancing the efficiency and reliability of machinery and equipment, thus shaping the future of industry and innovation.