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topic 44367

Plating of Small Polished Steel Balls

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A discussion started in 2007 & continuing through 2017


My name is Paul Miles with a gasket fabricator in Sauget Illinois. We are undertaking a new project and would like to know if carbon steel balls (.156 diameter) can be finished/ coated without leaving peaks or valleys or flat spots on the ball. We are looking for a chrome plating or nickel type finish on these as we do not want them to rust.


Paul Miles
- Sauget, Illinois, USA


Hello Paul. I think it will be ideal and relatively easy to electroless nickel plate these balls in a barrel.

Electrolytic nickel plating would be somewhat less costly and probably would hold your roundness tolerance, but I wouldn't do that unless electroless nickel was unsuitable for some reason. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

Surface coating for seal

Electroless Plating
Mallory & Hajdu
from Abe Books


June 25, 2017

Q. Hi, we have a 3 mm polished steel ball that seals up against a matching female surface.
These two can seal water up to 2000 psi.
But with a gas pressure of 450 psi it can/ not always, have a very slow leak.
The ball is pushed into position by a spring.
Could we coat the ball, or the seat so it had just a little improvement in the sealing area?
Appreciate any ideas / what material to coat with?
Note the ball is lifted and dropped millions of times in its life.

Peter David
- Auckland, NI, New Zealand

June 2017

A. Hi Peter, we try to fix typos, but unfortunately I'm not sure if you were trying to say that it must not leak gas at 450 psi or that you want it to (to bleed out accumulating air for example).

The balls can be electroless nickel plated in a plating barrel, which should give a nice even distribution and plenty of hardness for your endurance requirements.


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

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