Welded ball assemblies are used in many industries. In the oil and gas industry welded ball assemblies are used in several applications. In pilot controlled gas back pressure regulators the welded ball assemblies are called pilot plugs or snap plugs. Pilot plug assemblies consist of two balls welded on opposite ends of a short stem or shank. Single welded ball and stem assemblies may also be used in ball valves. If resistance to corrosion in a sour gas environment is important, the ball assembly may be constructed of 316 stainless steel. Ball to stem concentricity and weld strength are usually important to the assemblies function. The marriage of ITI’s precision ball making capability and repeatable welding process yields a high quality pilot plugs and welded ball and stem assemblies for ball valves used in the oil and gas industry.
Ball and stem (ferrule) assemblies are also used in custom precision analytical and diagnostic components for OEMs. These include analytical LC fluid path components and subassemblies such as pistons, check valves, and flow cells, precision dispense pumps, valves and custom assemblies for diagnostic and biotech instrument OEMs. For these applications ITI welds a ball onto a precision machined ferrule. Cleanliness, protection from surfaces defects and concentricity are important to product function. ITI can provide the precision ferrule and welded ball assembly complete or weld a precision ball onto a customer supplied ferrule.
Industrial Tectonics welded ball and stem assemblies utilize a precision ball, are very concentric, have excellent weld strength and may be manufactured from several materials. Balls may be welded, brazed (silver soldered) or glued onto the stem. The ball may be completely round or may have other features such as flats, holes, grooves, etc. ITI is capable of supplying the stem, shank or ferrule as specified, or will weld a precision ball on a customer supplied stem.
Balls and stem assemblies are most frequently produced from stainless steel. Tungsten carbide balls may also be welded or brazed to a stainless steel stem. Ceramic balls may be glued to a stainless steel stem. Other material combinations should be discussed with ITI’s engineers.