Ball Bearings

Ball Bearings Ball Bearing Gap Plate
Gap Plate

Process Research Products is the world’s leading specialist in the field of providing solutions to manufacturing problems in the Ball Bearing industry. In the early 1960’s PRP had already developed the first commercial water lapping process with 8150/70 and “temporary glue”. Flow On process. Over the last 50 years many new products have been introduced. PRP specializes in providing products for lapping in the manufacture of Ball Bearings.


Flow On

The Flow On lapping system was developed as a second generation of water-soluble products for ball lapping to take advantage of more technically advanced ingredients now available. We have reformulated the product, thus improving the quality of the balls produced and simplifying the operation. Flow On is a semi-synthetic, water soluble coolant used in conjunction with Abradelap abrasive paste compounds for the lapping of bearings balls. It is in a concentrated form containing only traces of water and should be diluted at 14-20 to 1. We have achieved these aims with the Flow On system. Its advantages are as follows:

  • It works well when diluted with all types of water.
  • The product is chemically stable and has a long shelf life.
  • Better corrosion resistance is built into the product.
  • The lapped balls are easier to clean.
  • The spent emulsion is easier to split and to dispose of.
  • It is only a 2-part system.
General Instructions

Flow On coolant should be initially diluted with water at a ratio of 14-1. Depending upon the performance characteristics, this ratio may be increased to 20-1. The diluted product flows onto the balls as they enter the lapping plates, and is then re-circulated through the system. Flow On is suitable for both individual tanks and central systems.

Abradelap Charging Paste

Abradelap Paste compounds are charging liquids that contain abrasive specially milled and graded to give a specific particle spread for each lapping operation. Abradelaps have been developed for use with the Flow On coolant. Currently there are three grades of Abradelap Paste compounds available. Abradelap Paste is added either manually or by means of an automatic drip-free system directly onto the balls as they enter lapping plates. The amount added depends on load size, ball diameter, amount of stock to be removed, plate hardness, and machine characteristics, etc. Process Research Products has assembled case histories detailing the use of Abradelap under various conditions. Since ball production methods vary widely from one company to another, we urge potential users to request information applicable to their specific production conditions.
For single step lapping: Using Abradelap 2T
For finish lapping: 4QT
For finest lapping: AWA II

Bakelap – Oil Free Honing Coolant

The use of Bakelap completely eliminates the use of honing oil in final ball lapping operations.
Bakelap is an oil free honing coolant developed to eliminate oil-based coolants from the Ball lapping operation. Bakelap allows a single aqueous ball cleaning system to be used whether the balls are lapped in the traditional process between cast iron plates with Flow On or the Noritake process using Bakelite wheels.

Process Research Products' Bakelap is a highly concentrated alkaline water based detergent/coolant used in the ultrafine grinding process known in the ball bearing industry as Stone Lapping, Noritake Lapping or Bakelite Honing. It is used at 5% solution in water.

  • It has very good rust protection.
  • It is a totally aqueous system.
  • Excellent detergency & solvency.
  • Fines settle readily.
  • It is oil free.
  • Can be used in all honing steps.
General Instructions

BAKELAP can be used in individual tanks or central systems. Prior to use, we suggest the lapping machine be cleaned of oil residue and rinsed with water and then refilled with a 10% solution of ULTRACLEAN B in water. The ULTRACLEAN B should be circulated through the machine for 4-6 hours. The tank should then be drained, refilled with water and BAKELAP. The BAKELAP should be added to the water a 5% concentration. The lapping operation can then begin.

It is most important to ensure the tanks are equipped with highly efficient filtration. This ensures longer tank life and better quality surface finish on the balls. BAKELAP can be used when there is an iron gap against a Noritake wheel or with both wheels Noritake style.

Note: If during the process the wheel becomes dark and removal rate drops or the balls clog on the feed chute, PRP recommends a 50cc addition of concentrated BAKELAP put on the balls until the wheel turns yellow and starts cutting again.

Cast Iron Plates

Through our knowledge in the Industry, we have over 40 years of experience in providing high quality cast iron plates for flashing/rill filing, grinding and lapping.
Process Research Products is the world’s largest supplier of custom-made plates to this industry. Each different type of ball requires special plate matrices and hardness. We provide specialized plates for every operation whether it is for ball pen balls, steel shot, ceramics, stainless or 52/100 chrome bearing balls.

Before we can make a specific recommendation, we will not only need customer drawings, but also details of the machine type, ball size, material and final quality required.

Flashing Plates

Process Research Products manufacture Special Cast Iron Flashing Plates in various chemistries. The graphite size distribution and shape is uniform throughout and the casting free from cavities. These plates are sand cast. All products are designed to address customer’s specific needs such as:

  • Long Life
  • High cut rate

Special chemistries are indicated for difficult to machine materials such as stainless steel and carbon balls.

Grinding Plates

These are also available in a variety of chemistries and hardnesses. These plates are sand cast.

Plates with Inserts

In recent years, many high precision ball producers have requested hardened plates with soft iron inserts on the leading edge of the inlet gap.
This style of plate was designed to enable customers to CNC the leads in accurately and also to prevent tool breakage during machining.
Balls manufactured on plates fitted with soft inserts also reduce grinding marks thus improving ball quality during mass production.

Lapping Plates

120-180 HB Pre Lapping
180-240 HB Finish Lapping
Available in various grades of gray iron and different hardness ranges. These plates are either sand cast or gravity die cast according to end use.

Geis Plates for Pen Balls

Some customers that make very small alls under 1.0 mm often request very sharp corners on the feed pockets. We can supply these customers with pockets machined by wire EDM.

Quality Control

After manufacturing in ISO 9001:2008 registered facilities, all Process Research Products plates undergo rigorous quality checks.

  • To verify the soundness of each plate, a total surface examination is made using ultrasound to assure the absence of defects such as inclusions or porosity.
  • Each plate has full traceability back to a unique batch identity and specific plate number. This information is traceable back to the specific melt.
Product Development R & D

Process Research Products has in-house R & D capability. We are constantly testing different plate chemistries in ball production throughout the world.

All Process Research Products plates are manufactured in the EEC by our sister company in an ISO 9001:2008 REGISTERED FACILITY.

Our hardened plates are machined on the mounting face and pilot ring after heat treatment.
All Lapping plates and Grind Gaps are fully machined.