Ball screws serve critical roles in CNC machining and operations. To better assist their functions and ensure adequate maintenance and care, we explain their roles and responsibilities. At its core, a ball screw is a motion conversion mechanism for machinery and equipment across a variety of industrial applications. Read on to learn more about the ball screw in detail.
A Ball Screw’s Function in CNC Machines
A ball screw is the best assembly mechanism because it is highly accurate. Generally, industrial machinery and heavy equipment will use a ball screw instead of a lead screw because of its precision and attention to detail.
The ball screw is preferred in CNC machining because of its smooth and accurate motion. There is a reduced level of friction among the ball and nut. Most often, the motion will travel along a steel bearing setup, and this creates for a smooth commute within the mechanism.
How Does the Ball Screw Work?
Various components make up the ball screw and nut assembly, including a spindle nut, a spindle shaft, steel bearings, and a circulation system. Let’s look at how these components work together to create motion control.
- A spindle shaft provides a helical runway for the bearings to move through.
- The spindle nut travels lengthwise along the spindle shaft.
- The steel bearings reduce friction between the screw and the nut while increasing the speed of the nut.
- A circulation system helps the steel bearings for a smooth flow of motion.
Differences Between Ball and Lead Screws
While a ball screw is a more efficient and practical approach, it’s essential to note the differences between a lead screw and a ball screw. Ball screws have high levels of precision and mechanical depth. Compared to a lead screw, where the design is much simpler and typically comes with increased friction and flaws.
For a closer look at ball screws and motion conversion, connect with our team at Wedin International today. We provide industry-leading motion control services, repairs, and custom screw assemblies.