Super Tiny Ball Bearings Could Lighten The Load For Our Troops

detailed drawing of a ball bearing cut outThe easiest way to ruin a machine is to neglect its lubrication. When you take mechanical parts and rub them together, eventually they will fail. It doesn’t matter what type of equipment it is, your car engine, oven door hinges, or the wheels on your garage door, parts fail and fail fast without something to minimize friction.

There is some new technology that centers on miniature ball bearings that will allow for the development of a new level of micro-scale machines. The smaller a component becomes (such as a pump) the faster it has to turn to work produce the results of its larger cousin. This miniaturization of traditionally large and heavy products is much like the downsizing of computer components and electronics. They are easier to carry, but create challenges in cooling and friction minimization.

So, why make things smaller? These advancements will make portable tiny pumps, turbines and endless other products. One of the most significant benefits of this will be reducing the load that our soldiers carry during combat and travel. Through the development of these tiny systems – designed so that they can operate efficiently for reasonable periods of time will allow for downsizing of everything from your dentist’s drill to power generation equipment for our troops.

Back to the friction! As engineers embarked upon this new development the first thing that the team had to solve was how to avoid friction and wear between metal components. The development of these tiny ball bearings provided a means to minimize the friction. Ball bearings are not a new theory, just downsized – a lot!

These tiny ball bearings or microballs are only as wide as a few human hairs and practically invisible. These magic ball bearings open the door for the creation of a myriad of components, some of which demonstrate rotational speeds up to 87,000 rpm, producing results that are comparable to huge machinery.

Want to read more about this impressive work? Visit the Machinery Lubrication Website to read the full article!

I learned all about it at,-motors,-turbines.

happy reading and happy driving,

Lynn Beckwith, That Car Lady

“For the first time, we have achieved a level of miniaturization for machines like that achieved over the last decades in electronics,” said Ghodssi, Herbert Rabin Distinguished Associate Professor of Engineering in the Clark School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Institute for Systems Research. “Our work shows that it is feasible to manufacture and integrate reliable, robust micromachines that apply tiny pumps, motors, and turbines in ways never before possible.”   –



Comments 2

  1. Musiclet

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. That is a really smartly written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your helpful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  2. Mary

    Thanks Lynn! Lubrication IS one of those little things we take for granted and modern man’s ability to manufacture a perfect sphere (the ball bearing) was a huge step forward for industry. These days its all about NANO tech! Make it smaller! Loved the link to the Lubrication web page (I know, I’m a bit odd) -lots of great info there.

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