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We also give support to new Lego GBC creators so don?t doubt to contact us and check our guides to Lego GBC. Many people have contacted me over the last few months with questions about my line of Scaleless Head Ball Pythons.
Below is a side by side comparison of the BHB line Scaleless Head and a WHS Reptiles line Scaleless Head as well as NERDs Micro Scale. Last year a local customer that I would describe as a novice hobbyist at best contacted me out of the blue.
I had visited BHB several times and was very familiar with the Scaleless Heads and how they looked in person and had been keeping my eye out for anything that looked promising. Many people don’t realize that Scaleless Heads are much like Piebalds in that the level of missing scales can vary any where from just the smallest scale missing to a great many scales missing (think high white and low white Pieds) and Mom was clearly a very low expression girl, I honestly still can not find a missing scale on her head. So long story short I laid out a large sum of money (more than I have ever dreamed of spending on Ball Pythons) and took possession of the Mom and her offspring. It goes without saying that I believe in the scaleless project 100% or I would not have taken such a gamble. A few months ago I teamed up with my long time friend Brock Wagner to help me roll out and manage this important project. During the March Tinely Park Chicago show I was able to hang out with allot of great friends and cool animals but this little Leaf tailed gecko had to be one of my favorites!
I posted these on a couple of forums and they got a great response so I thought I would put them on the site .
Things are getting incredibly busy here,  we have had multiple clutches being laid every day for last few weeks and eggs from earlier in the season are about to start hatching. This past weekend I was able to take a trip up to Michigan to visit with all of my good friends up there.
Over the last few weeks my buddy Robert and I have build some out door Tegu enclosures, they were pretty labor intensive but now that there are some Tegus in them I can say they were well worth the effort.
I am really  happy to report that my lesser clown male has finally got his act together and started breeding. Titanium nitride (TiN) coatings are widely used in machining because of its mechanical characteristics which modify the surface of the substrate increasing the capacity of load support and reduction of friction, while a coating as diamond-like carbon (DLC), which also has interesting mechanical properties, needs better attention.
Cutting tools with titanium nitride (TiN) coating are widely used due its mechanical properties such as high wear resistance and low friction. Considerable progress has been made in the last decade with the development of the ball cratering test7. Bearing steel ball produces a circular depression which is used to determine the wear rate of the coating and the substrate.
This paper discusses the methods to evaluate the shape of the crater formed in the ball cratering test and the influence of the accuracy in the specific wear rate of TiN and DLC coatings. Two sets of coatings have been tested: titanium nitride (TiN) coating, which is widely used in the machining factories, and DLC which is a new and promising coating. Where k is the specific wear rate or wear coefficient, V is the volume, S is the sliding distance and N, the normal load. The thickness must be obtained via an independent method to ensure accuracy, thus avoiding the propagation of systematic errors in the final result. The symmetrical formulation also allows both specific wear rates from a single test and a linear plot.
The tools covered with TiN normally have 4 ?m thickness, as well the samples used here and shown in the cross section-view evaluated by SEM in Figure 3. It is known that when perforation of the coating occurs, the procedure originally developed by Rutherford and Hutchings can be used 1,7,8-11. From the slope of the linear fits to the data, as shown in Figure 9, this method provides a simple indication whether kc is greater or less than ks. The internal crater diameters and the external crater diameters for TiN and DLC were both measured as shown in Figure 10 and plotted against SN.
The specific wear coefficient of the substrate (ks) and the coating (kc) by the four methods of data analyses plus profilometer are discussed based on the Figure 11. The titanium nitride coating is widely known in machining industries and has been successfully used to make a comparison with DLC which is a new technology. Numerous industrial components and systems have been known to degrade due to material loss in the form of wear. It is therefore necessary for surfaces to have the durability to combat environmental degradation and prolong component lifespan. The Air-Sand erosion rig was designed and manufactured at the University of Southampton and has the capability to measure erosion of materials. In-situ observations and high-speed photography during testing are made possible through optical window ports located on the chamber. Two pin-on-disc tribometers offer both a low speed (10-240 rpm), high load (500 N) version with adaption for electrochemistry, as well as an instrumented pin-on-disc that can measure friction force, disc surface temperature, linear wear, vibration, acoustic emissions and electrostatic charge generation. For reciprocating sliding there is the Phoenix Tribology TE 77 High Frequency Friction Machine, which is a versatile tribometer with a maximum stroke of 25 mm and maximum load of 1,000 N.
A number of test geometries can be employed including pin-on-plate (point contact), cylinder-on-plate (line contact), and area contact, as well as piston ring-cylinder wall configuration. Computerised testing controls load (5-1000 N), temperature (up to 600A°C), while measuring friction, linear wear and electrical contact resistance (ECR).A  Tests can be performed under both dry and lubricated conditions. The TE 74 Two Roller Machine is a research machine for the study of wear and rolling contact fatigue of materials under conditions of pure rolling as well as rolling-sliding. The Micro-Scale Abrasion Tester (Plint TE 66) rotates a ball against a (coated) sample plate in the presence of an abrasive slurry resulting in the production of a circular depression. Testing typically involves an one inch ball rotated between 1 and 150 rpm with loads between 0.01 and 10 N.
The aim of such a test is to measure progressive wear over an extended number of cycles and thus determine wear rates and wear coefficients of the material (and coating).
The University of Southampton has adapted this to perform tribocorrosion experiments under electrochemical control, by the incorporation of a three-electrode setup with an insulating (ceramic) ball and temperature controlled bath to contain the electrolyte of interest.
Typical tests are performed at 50A°C and a rotation speed of 2500 rpm, using base oil lubrication. It should be noted that RIfI can call upon the collective expertise of 30 dedicated staff in the national Centre of Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS). I decided when I first acquired them that I would wait until I actually hatched my first few clutches and proved with out a shadow of a doubt that my male passed his specific mutation on to his offspring both predictably and reliably.

He told me about a couple of ball pythons that were described as being born with “weird heads” that were having issues with dry sheds on their heads. When I showed up I was shown what was a clutch of baby Ball Pythons that had just gone through their first shed and were not kept anywhere near moist enough.
My theory is that when she was a baby there was probably 1 or 2 visual missing scales but as she aged and her scales plumped up they most likely just cover that area now.  Luckily for me I was fortunate enough to know this type of look well because the original adult female at BHB was this same type of Scaleless Head.
My customer went on to hatch all of the clutches that were sired by the Father of my clutch with out ever producing another Scaleless Head. I think this is the biggest mutation we have ever seen in our industry and I am thrilled to be a part of it!!!! If you have any interest in acquiring a WHS Line Scaleless Head you can reach out to either Brock or myself via email, text or phone call. Its getting into that exciting time of year when we get to see some new combos crawling out of the egg We should have pretty good amount of Super Enchi Combos and Clown combos this this year which I really think those will be strong sellers and if luck is on our side we should have a good amount of Banana and GHI combos as well. We had a great time and got to interact with some wonderful wildlife including a Bimini Boa and a mother Antillean Nighthawk with two chicks The island has some amazing snorkeling and boasts a healthy population of tropical fish (including 13 species of sharks), coral and Conch. I was able to spend some time at BHB on friday and take a few photos of some great animals ! I picked up an adult proven trio of black and white Argentines and a two year old trio of chacoan white heads.
I now have every 2012 male breeding except for the enchi queen bee who is still holding out on me. In this sense, the development of new coatings such as DLC is as important as wear analysis techniques. The wear is confined to the coating alone and a wear rate is calculated by geometrical considerations.
The sets of coatings tested here were useful to provide information on the wear and friction performance of the DLC, giving guidance in the application of this coating in sliding wear applications, since TiN is widely known. The crater images were taken by optical microscope for measuring the shape of the crater in the conventional method.
Figure 1 shows a test illustration with a schematic diagram of the geometry of wear scars formed by ball cratering test with a sphere of radius R, internal crater diameter a, external crater diameter b, coating thickness t and the total penetration depth h into the sample. In this same Figure, the TiN coating morphology by AFM is presented inside, the TiN roughness obtained by AFM is 90 nm. A series of tests were performed with different cycle number, and then the formation of the crater was caused by the contact-pressure at the center of the sphere with the sample. Friction and normal forces were captured by wear-acquisition and real-time analysis system.
An advantage is its potential accuracy since the value of S.N is generally much more accurate than the volumes calculated from the measured wear scar dimensions. There is a steady increase tendency in the size of internal and external TiN diameters, differently, a non-steady increase is observed for DLC. Wear coefficients using the volumes from profilometer have been compared with those obtained by the conventional method. Evaluation of the wear and abrasion resistance of hard coatings by ball-on-three-disk test methods —A case study. Effect of the actual environment present in hermetic compressors on the tribological behavior of a Si-rich multifunctional DLC coating. Ball crater testing for the measurement of the unlubricated sliding wear of wear-resistant coatings. Improving sliding and abrasive wear behavior of cast A356 and wrought AA7075 aluminum alloys by plasma electrolytic oxidation.
Micro-scale abrasive wear behavior of HVOF sprayed and laser-remelted conventional and nanostructured WC–Co coatings.
XPS, XRD and laser raman analysis of surface modified of 6150 steel substrates for the deposition of thick and adherent diamond-like carbon coatings. Surface modification of 6150 steel substrates for the deposition of thick and adherent diamond-like carbon coatings.
Effect of carbonitriding temperature process on the adhesion properties of diamond like-carbon coating deposited by PECVD on austenitic stainless steel.
These degradations sometimes incur a large sum of unwanted costs through machinery downtime, delays and component replacement. Tests that simulate conditions experienced by engineering components during operation are essential in order to develop superior and improved surfaces that resist wear such as abrasion and erosion.
Constructed from uPVC and any parts in contact with the slurry are either plastic or coated. Now that I have hatched my first 3 clutches I am more confident than ever that my gene is indeed a predictably inheritable “codom” mutation and it only stands to reason that it will produce a visual scaleless animal when bred together, so much so I am willing to put a full money back guarantee behind them!
He knew that Brian had some animals with “weird heads” that were causing a lot of hype at the time and remembered me telling him a story about me passing on another animal just a few months prior that went on to sell for a lot of money. A few of them did indeed have some peculiar stuck shed on their heads and upon closer inspection of the rostal scale and body scales it was beyond obvious what I had found!!!!  Fortunately my customer was convinced that the mutation had come from Dad and that he would have more clutches of them coming soon so he was willing to sell me the whole clutch even the siblings and the Mom.
I learned from seeing and holding Brian’s original girl in the past and examining her babies that while the head may not appear to be scaleless the  rest of the body does not lie! If you find yourself visiting the island at any point I highly recommend visiting the shark lab and doing one of their tours or dives! One of the primary functions is to improve the wear resistance and thus increase the durability of components and products for engineering coatings such as TiN and DLC. Next, a sequence of craters with different duration penetrates the coating, producing two boundaries on overall crater diameter and the portion of the crater in the substrate. DC plasma in physical vapor deposition (PVD) system has been utilized to synthesize TiN coating, and vacuum arc discharge PVD with graphite cathode was used for DLC. Alternative for measuring the crater was performed in 3D profilometer equipment Taylor-Robson, software TalyMap Universal. In this test, experimental data are provided by the analyses of the craters made for a predetermined number of ball cycle, then wear rates for both the substrate and the coating can be derived10.
To avoid this, four equations have been compared and used to the experimental data obtained.
As expected, the roughness of the TiN deposited by PVD system was low and follows the shape of the substrate, indicating that the coating has satisfactory adhesion.
No difficulties were found to measure the crater in the TiN samples due the regular shape of the contour created in the pair substrate-film, as shown in Figure 5.

Thus, results obtained by profilometry were useful for comparison with the volumes calculated by conventional method. Separate wear scars were formed after varying numbers of ball rotations and have been measured by optical microscopy. Probably, the factors like thickness and wear resistance are responsible for the result of each coating.
The wear coefficients of TiN and DLC samples of all methods are consistent with the values reported in the literature2. The ball cratering test was evaluated to be appropriate method for calculating the specific wear rate, once the use of correct equation.
The University of Southampton has a state-of-the-art Surface Engineering and Tribology laboratory to carry out high level testing on engineering surfaces.
That animal actually turned out to be the Micro Scale which I passed on because it did not share the same traits as any Scaleless Head I had seen and its strange ventral scales had me convinced that it was simply an incubation deformity (turns out I was wrong lol).
But as soon as he showed me their Mother it was clear to me which parent indeed had passed on the gene!
The rostal scales always have a specific indention and ALL of the body scales are atypical and oddly shaped (though not so much so that they are texturally different as is the case with the Micro Scale). For this, it has been used the data of the crater volume formed in ball cratering test and compared the difference between the specific wear coefficients of substrate and coating (ks and kc). Robust wear testing techniques are required to determine those aspects of the coatings performance1, and most of them are based on friction and wear 2-5. After a fixed number of revolutions, the volume of the crater formed is used to calculate the wear. Dimensional analysis of these features results in wear rates for both the substrate and the coating.
Images were carried out with fixed sample and the probe displacement with a resolution of 65 nm in z-axis, 250 nm and 1000 nm in x, y-axis.
In the other hand, DLC is a new technology and needs better attention due adhesion issues that limits its use 15,16, although is an interesting type of coating because of its high hardness and chemical inertness 17. Mechanical properties as hardness of DLC and Young modulus are related to the low coefficient of friction for DLC, however for TiN coating the non-uniform morphology, as observed in the AFM image on Figure 3, can influence the friction during the test. For each scar at least five measurements of a and b were made parallel and perpendicular to the abrasion direction to obtain mean values of a and b.
Interesting results for the DLC wear coefficients were calculated by Vc-At and DI, which show significant difference between ks and kc, indicating that the wear of the coatings were lower than the substrate. The use of profilometer for analysis of the crater from ball cratering test proved to be non-applicable and consistent if compared with the conventional method, due the profilometer analysis cannot discriminate between the coating and the portion of the substrate. So he called me thinking I would be a buyer for animals with “weird heads” and looking to cash in. These coefficients depend of the methods used for data analyses, thus, it has been used four equations to calculate ks and kc.
Often, the test parameters involved depend of: the tribo system properties, the materials in contact, the surrounding and wear conditions6. Advantages of this test are: the operation simplicity, the low cost of the apparatus and the small scale of the samples. A disadvantage is the reliability of ball cratering test which is related to the measurement accuracy.
The results obtained by using the conventional method were useful as reference for the evaluation and comparison with the profilometry technique. The DLC with 1 ?m thickness shows satisfactory adhesion, and the interface between coating and substrate is clear, as shown in Figure 4. Differently, the samples of DLC showed a non perfect diameter of the crater, as shown in Figure 6. Although, the wear results of specific wear rate are not with the same tendency, the coefficient of the substrate (ks) often is greater than the coating (kc). There are few successful methods of wear test, for example: ball bearing, pin on disk and ball on disk. Moreover, ball cratering test method can be used to evaluate a variety of coating including polymeric films, thin hard ceramic coatings, metallic coatings and thick thermally sprayed coatings8. Thus, optical microscopy has become a conventional tool for measuring the diameter of the wear crater generated in the abrasion test, and a primary method of measurement.
Images of the coating thickness were obtained using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Hitachi S-3400 VP. There were difficulties in defining the edges of craters for DLC as indicated by the diameters variations; moreover, the grooves in the edge interfere in the measurements of the inner craters diameters, also scuffing effect have occurred around the edge of the crater. However, in the profilometer method kc was greater than ks for both coatings, probably due poor accuracy.
Although it is realized that the method for defining the boundary between the DLC coating and the substrate for the gray color changes needs to be better understood, it seems that the conventional method has the advantage on profilometer. Also, the roughness of the coatings, the thickness, the images corresponding to the crater formed, the coefficient of friction, the data obtained in wear tests due to the volume removed and, in the end, a comparison between ks and kc by different methods of data analyzes are presented. Nevertheless, those techniques are common, new approaches of data analyses are being raised by tribologists. Profilometer (Pf) for ancillary measurements in order to evaluate the crater has been proposed in this work as alternative technique for analysis. Top view of the coating morphology was evaluated by atomic force microscopy (AFM) Veeco multimode Nanoscope V.
Despite the DLC roughness is lower than TiN, other mechanical properties may influence the wear results and discussed forward, apparently, the slight difference of roughness do not interfere significantly on the wear. Therefore, the use of profilometer to measure the volume of the crater needs to be better understood, while Vc-At and DI are the best analyses methods. They used a test system which enables sliding wear and friction test of TiN and DLC coatings without the presence of added abrasive.
When the crater with irregular shape is observed, the coating volume calculated is strongly affected, since the formulas of the volumes (4 and 5) are dependent on internal diameter (a) and the thickness (t).
Apart from a slight fuzziness of the crater edge this micrograph allows for a fair measurement of the corresponding crater intersect diameter.

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