Common Myths About Ball Screws

Common Myths About Ball Screws

A ball screw is a type of screw assembly that is used in industries from farming, to automotive, to food processing. Since there are so many variations of these screw assemblies out there, it can be difficult to know which type to purchase or which features you truly need. The decision isn’t helped by the common myths about ball screws that are floating about; here are three of the most common debunked.

Myth #1: Ball Screws are Always Better than Lead Screws

Ball screws and lead screws are two common types of screw assemblies that are similar in appearance and function but have a few key differences. A ball screw assembly includes a screw shaft, a rotating nut, and ball bearings between that nut and the shaft of the screw to decrease friction and increase efficiency. Ball screws are generally more expensive than lead screws and have much higher levels of efficiency, but if your machine does not require a screw that has a high level of efficiency or any of the other benefits a ball screw offers, you may prefer to use a lead screw.

Myth #2: Ground Screws are Always More Accurate than Rolled

Ground and rolled ball screws are two variations of the ball screw. These types of ball screws are distinguished mainly by their manufacturing processes: ground screws are made through an abrasive process in which a few threads of the screw are carved out at a time using cutters, while a rolled screw is created using rotating tool dies. It’s a popular belief that ground ball screws are always more accurate than rolled ones. While this is generally true, it’s not always the case. In the past, the technology used to make rolled screws was not so advanced, but now it’s such that rolled screws that are just as accurate as ground screws are available.

Myth #3: Lubed-for-Life Assemblies Never Need Maintenance

Certain types of ball screw assemblies are marketed as “lubed-for-life” and are sold along with the claim that the assemblies will never need any lubrication or maintenance in the span of their lives. While it is true that these types of assemblies generally require less frequent lubrication than others, the claim that they require no maintenance at all is decidedly false. The lifespan of a “lubed-for-life” assembly depends upon what type of machine the assembly is used in. If the assembly is used in a heavy-duty machine that runs at high speeds or supports heavy loads, the screw assembly will likely need maintenance, despite its “lubed-for-life” status.

When choosing a ball screw, keep these common myths about ball screws in mind to help you choose the right one. If you need help determining the best type of ball screw for your machine, contact a ball screw manufacturer like Wedin International, Inc. No matter what type of ball screw your machine requires, Wedin International, Inc. can help you find the part you’re looking for.