Silicon Nitride Miniature Styli

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What is silicon nitride? It is an extremely hard ceramic (SiN4) with a very low coefficient of friction and extremely smooth finish.

What is wrong with ruby balls?  Due to their microstructure, ruby balls can accumulate tiny bits of material on their surface during probing.  When used for scanning, ruby balls can wear from rubbing against the part, especially when scanning hard or abrasive surfaces.

Why use silicon nitride?  Silicon nitride balls are extremely hard (>75 Rc), have a lower coefficient of friction than ruby balls, and highly polished surface.  Silicon nitride balls are far less likely to accumulate material and will resist wear better than ruby balls. 
Silicon Nitride Styli
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Miniature Styli
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