How To Choose the Right Lubricant for Ball Screws

How To Choose the Right Lubricant for Ball Screws

Applying a lubricant to a ball screw assembly is integral to how well the assembly can serve the mechanisms and operational outputs. Like many things, ball screw assemblies are subject to significant wear and tear with use and age, and choosing the right lubricant can extend its lifespan and reduce friction within a piece of equipment.

Application Specifications

Prior to applying any lubrication, whether it’s oil or grease, an engineer must thoroughly inspect and clean the ball screw assembly and the respective housing. There is a chance that the assembly contains old lubrication buildup or regular use buildup. New lubricant application will adhere to the assembly much better with a clean working surface.

Additionally, applying too much lubrication at once can drastically impair the ball screw assembly’s ability to perform optimally. This can lead to poor machine production and deem the lubricant ineffective.

Grease or Oil?

Part of the battle is having an essential awareness of the lubrication needs of your mechanisms. The other half of the battle is knowing which lubricant is right for your particular ball screw assembly. There are two primary lubricants to consider, oil and grease.

Oil lubrication will require a filter and pump filtration system. This is the most suitable lubrication technique for low or moderate speed ratios, temperatures, and load capacities. If any of these three factors are too extreme, the oil lubrication is useless, and the risk of metal-to-metal friction increases.

In contrast, a grease lubrication technique is necessary for higher speeds and more extreme loads and temperatures. Grease can tolerate a direct ball screw and nut application. You should not pair a grease lubricant with mediums such as graphite or molybdenum disulfide.

Product Considerations

For the best possible outcomes and production rates, it’s best to lubricate normal-functioning ball screw assemblies in six-month intervals and high-functioning ball screw assemblies in three-month intervals. With these frequencies in mind, the rolling and friction between bearings and grooves are significantly reduced.

To learn more about Acme screw products and the most suitable lubrication applications, connect with Wedin International today! We offer quality services and products with over 40 years of expertise.