Ball and Taper Technology

First Subsea Ballgrab® connectors are based on patented ball and taper technology. This unique technology makes it suitable for any application involving gripping, pulling and holding connections under load. The primary difference between ball and taper technology and other connection methods is the way in which it minimises gripping surface deformation.

Ball and taper connection technology, in its simplest form, is the action of balls held securely in tapers machined into the connector’s mandrel. The balls are free to move up and down the taper, however when the balls grip the item to be held, they hold it in direct proportion to the load applied.

1. As the connector is inserted into a close fitting tube, the balls are free to roll.

2. As the connector is inserted fully, the balls roll up the taper into a retract position.

3. Once load is applied, the balls roll down the taper and engage. The connector then cannot be released until the load is removed.


Utilising ball and taper technology, First Subsea's Ballgrab® connectors can be used in a wide variety of scenarios. The key advantages ball and taper technology has over traditional connection methods are:

  • Simple mechanism
  • Speed, ease of use and versatility
  • Individual multi-point grip
  • All grip elements are in compression
  • Grip is directly proportional to load
  • Self-activating and self-aligning

Ballgrab® connectors have been tried, tested and proven in practice in a range of applications, such as mooring, lifting, pulling, tensioning, torqueing, recovery and decommissioning.

First Subsea Ltd