SSG Applies Coating on Ball Bearing Retainer for 500,000 rpm Dental Drills

A bearing company that manufactured dental drill ball bearings approached SSG for help. The manufacturer explained that dental drills performing at very high speeds have special low friction requirements. The goal is to lower friction to use less air and insure consistent power delivery. Less air is needed to drive the drill when there is less resistance.

The bearing manufacturer needed to work with a company that could not only address coating difficulties associated with the small size and complex shape of the bearing retainers but also handle large production runs. The precision application requirements were not met by any prior coating firm. Issues that plagued them included high fall out rates due to coating imperfections, including lumps of coating on critical surfaces, non-uniformity, bare spots, fish eyes, voids and coating on the back of the retainer.

The bearing manufacturer recognized it needed the help of a very precise applicator that had the ability to precisely apply a uniform PTFE coating with zero imperfections while meeting production deadlines. With this in mind, management came to SSG for help producing a precisely-bonded coating on the “cup” side only of each half of the pair or retainers that hold the ultra-precision miniature ball bearings while they function at up to 500,000 rpm. In addition, the coating is autoclave able for cleaning purposes.

The SSG team developed an entirely new coating application method after analyzing quality control photos and data the customer provided on our FluoroMed® Engineering Form. We created a precise and reproducible production process to apply PTFE that met customer specifications on each and every part SSG coated.

Upon completion of our research the customer sent us 500 prototypes for trial processing. The prototype runs proved the SSG process, which led to SSG to ramping up volume to meet customer needs. Our repeatable coating process delivered the precision coating results from part to part with no coating imperfections at production volumes of 50,000 parts per lot. Later processing improvements included an SSG developed optical recognition system to verify coating accuracy of each miniature part after coating.