From aircraft to robots, ball screws offer smooth motion control in many applications. Ball screws move both small loads and heavy ones at great speeds with incredible accuracy. One of the greatest benefits is the ball screw’s lack of friction, thanks to a design similar to ball bearings. In this article, we’ll look at the steps in ball screw design and manufacturing to give us a better idea of what’s considered when creating a ball screw.
When choosing or designing a ball screw, you must consider the load. There are two types of loads: a dynamic load and a static load.
- Static load — stationary and won’t cause damage to the ball screw because once the screw and nut have reached full capacity, the load maxes out as well.
- Dynamic load — retracts and extends, causing more impact on the life of the ball screw.
The ball screw works well with both types of loads. For the best performance, determine the load when choosing the ball screw. Doing so also helps to determine the life expectancy of the ball screw.
Speed determines the frequency of the ball screw’s movement. That speed is also called critical speed. Critical speed is the lowest possible speed at which the screw resonates.
The diameter of the shaft, unsupported length, and how support bearings are configured all help in determining critical speed. Understanding critical speed is one of the essential steps in ball screw design and manufacturing.
Mounting considerations are necessary when choosing the right ball screw. A screw needs support, and engineers use both critical speed and buckling to help in determining the support needed. There are three types of support: free, simple, and fixed.
- Free — no support
- Simple — single support
- Fixed — rigid restraint
Every application has different needs, and mounting considerations are different for each, depending on the support needed.
The application for which you use the ball screw is a large factor when designing and manufacturing a ball screw. As mentioned, ball screws are used in aircraft, robotics, the automotive industry, and even missiles.
Ball screws bring ease of use and flexibility to industrial motion control systems. Their ability to take on many loads and offer speed and accuracy along with little friction make ball screws an excellent choice.
At Wedin International, we offer custom ball screws for every application—we create them using in-depth ball screw engineering. We are the trusted leaders in motion and linear control systems. Contact us for more information and help in choosing the right ball screw for your industrial needs.