Ground vs. Rolled Ball Screws: The Differences

Ground vs. Rolled Ball Screws: The Differences
What sets a ground ball screw apart from a rolled one, and why does it matter? Read this guide on ground vs. rolled ball screws: the differences to find out.

If you are looking to purchase a ball screw, you’ve probably come across the terms “ground” and “rolled” at some point in your research. Though they have similar functions, there are a few distinctions between ground and rolled ball screws that are important to know. Here is your guide on ground vs. rolled ball screws: the differences.

Manufacturing Process

The first difference between ground and rolled ball screws is their differing fabrication processes. Ground ball screws are created through an abrasion process, during which a very hard abrasive cutter moves along the length of the horizontally positioned blank, carving out a few threads of the screw at a time. In contrast to ground ball screws, rolled ball screws are manufactured using rotating tool dies. The blank is pushed back and forth between these dies, which serve to shape the threads of the screw. The rolling process is popular because of its high efficiency.

Accuracy

In terms of accuracy, ground ball screws rank much higher than rolled ball screws. This is because the threads of a ground ball screw have been crafted more precisely and smoothly than that of a rolled ball screw. When a particular screw is more accurate, the nut moves more smoothly along the shaft of the screw. Increased accuracy isn’t necessarily a good or a bad thing—depending on what you will be using it for, a rolled ball screw can be quite accurate and is still a great choice for your project.

Cost

Because of their efficient manufacturing process, rolled screws are usually much less expensive than ground screws. However, despite their higher price tag, ground screws are often preferred over rolled screws for use in machinery that requires high precision because they offer more accuracy than rolled screws.

Which Should You Choose?

The make of the ball screw you choose is entirely dependent upon your intended use for it. Rolled ball screws are more affordable than ground ball screws and are a great choice if your project doesn’t require a high level of accuracy. If your product requires high amounts of precision from a screw and the higher price is worth it to you, a ground ball screw is a better choice. Because of their manufacturing process, ground screws also tend to be more easily customizable than rolled screws.

Having read this guide on ground vs. rolled ball screws: the differences, you’ll have a better idea of how to pick the type of ball screw that best fits your needs.To learn more about the different types of ball screw engineering, contact Wedin International, Inc. We will help you consider the pros and cons of different types of ball screws and can supply you with the best type for your project.