X-medics’ standard precision ball tolerance is +/- 0.005 mm (AFMBA grade 50) which has been optimized for automated processing and general tolerance requirements when inserted into PEEK and other medical grade materials. For some ball diameters, we also offer a lower (+/- 0.02 mm) precision tolerance, which we can offer at a slightly reduced cost than our standard tolerance.
> Read more about Ball tolerances.
Surgical balls of tantalum are available in two tantalum material types – R05200 (electron beam / vacuum arc melted) and R05400 (sintered). Tantalum R05200 and Tantalum R05400 are equally suitable for surgery, and offer almost similar mechanical and chemical properties.
> Read more about tantalum grades.
Tantalum Balls Surface finish
X-medics’ tantalum balls are available as either standard polished or super polished. The standard polished balls undergo a single polishing step during ball processing and it is a cost optimized option that is suitable for most applications. The super polished balls undergo several polishing steps and they have been developed as a high-end option to be used in critical automated processes.
> Read more about surface finish.
ASTM F86 Cleaning and Passivation
ASTM F86 Cleaning and Passivation is a standard cleaning procedure to remove particles and process residues from the tantalum surface. As ASTM F86 is a cost efficient cleaning method, it is specified by 90 percent of X-medics’ customers. In some cases, ASTM F86 treatment is not suitable, as the passivation may increase the thickness of the naturally occurring tantalum oxide layer on the tantalum surface. The thicker tantalum oxide layer may tend to build up static electricity, and increase the surface roughness (friction) of the balls. The cleaning procedure is originally developed for stainless steel and titanium implants, but is also suitable for tantalum.
>Read more about ASTM F86 cleaning and passivation