Peek Into This Factory Where Perfectly Spherical Steel Grinding Balls Are Made

This amazing video shows how steel balls are made. The process starts with steel rods and end with perfect steel grinding balls.
Jessica Miley

There are thousands of things we use each day that we have no idea how they originate. I mean how do they make pencils for instance (the answer is like this!) But you can rest easy with the knowledge you’ll soon know exactly how they make steel balls. Steel balls come in every size imaginable, from huge ball bearings used in wind turbines and grinding applications to tiny balls that you’ll find in the bottom of your nail polish.

In this video from Shandong Iraeta, you can see the balls transformed from the length of steel into perfectly spherical balls. The most exciting part might be when they are almost molten hot and zipping around a conveyor belt. The video comes from the producer of the steel balls and highlights how much attention to detail is paid to ensure a really high level of consistency across their manufacturing process. It's actually superbly entertaining to imagine life inside these massive factories. The number and breadth of the roles and skills required to get the whole process going are pretty staggering.

The balls made in this particular video will be used for grinding application in the mining industry. Ore is placed inside grinding drums with lime, water and steel balls. Once the particles are broken down to an appropriate size it is turned into a slurry by the addition of more water and a weak cyanide solution. This is fed into large steel leach tanks where the gold and silver are dissolved. The solution is then passed through absorption tanks that absorb the gold and silver.

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