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What You Need to Know About Ball Screws
A ball screw is a common industrial component used in various applications. Here’s a basic overview of their features, typical applications, and characteristics. You’ll also learn about their maintenance and repair options. Learn more about ball screws today. We’ve got the answers you’ve been looking for. Scroll down for more information. And be sure to check out our blog for future articles! Until then, enjoy browsing! And happy screwing!
Ball screws are threaded shafts with a ball nut attached to them. These screws operate similar to ball bearings in which hardened steel balls travel a channel. Ball screws are usually used in linear-motion applications because of their high efficiency, load capacity, and positioning accuracy. Although these screws are similar in design to conventional lead screws, ball screws offer some distinct advantages. For example, ball screws are often used in machine tools, step photolithography machines, and microscopic integrated circuits.
For example, the use of larger balls reduces backlash in ball screws by reducing friction between the balls and the grooves. Ball screws can be preloaded using a spring or spacer between two ball nuts or a lead with a spherical offset. However, this method requires higher torque and can lead to excessive heat generation. It’s important to consider the size of preload before using a ball screw in a particular application.
Although the ball screws are highly durable, they are not without their disadvantages. For example, their metal-on-metal nature makes them louder than lead screw nuts. For these reasons, proper preloading is vital. Ball screws also have a very low friction coefficient. Ball screws are ideal for applications where backlash is of critical importance, such as wire bonding. A ball screw is the perfect solution for many applications that require precise motion.
Although ball screws are used in a wide variety of applications, they often are exposed to various types of contaminants. Dust, chips, and liquids can interfere with proper lubrication and shorten the lifespan of the ball screw assembly. Ultimately, these contaminants can lead to catastrophic failure of the assembly. They are also prone to abrasive wear and tear. To combat this, it’s important to lubricate your ball screws frequently.
The accuracy of a ball screw is one of its primary characteristics, so choosing the correct grade is critical. A ball screw with a C5 accuracy grade is typically used in machining centers, while a C3 or even a C1 screw might be needed for image processing or inspection equipment. Ball screw hardness is also an important consideration, as differences in the Ct and C grades will affect their accuracy. Ultimately, the higher the quality of the ball, the longer its life expectancy.
Numerous studies have been conducted to understand the mechanics of ball screw mechanisms. Cuttino et al. studied the nonlinear torque characteristics of ball screws. Then, by calculating the distribution of loads in all balls, they analyzed the load on the screw shaft and the ball screw.
CZPT has decades of experience in the design and production of ball screws for industrial use. With close to 50 years of know-how, this company is able to respond to a highly-complex market and develop new solutions. Their ball screw ranges range from basic to high-precision. Moreover, they can provide dedicated solutions for specific applications, ensuring the highest quality under all circumstances. And they can meet specific customer needs and requirements thanks to their extensive research and development.
A ball screw must be properly mounted. Improper mounting results in noise and vibration, accelerated wear, and material failure. Also, installed auxiliary components must be checked for faults. And, since ball screw mechanisms are often multi-stage, there are different types of ball screw mechanisms. There are two basic types: internal and external recirculation systems. There are many differences between the two types, but these two types have some fundamental similarities.
Ball screw maintenance can be done easily if you know the symptoms of a deteriorating ball screw. Several signs of deterioration can be detected during regular inspections: excessive vibrations, discoloration, and misalignment of the screw. If the screw is accompanied by excessive noises, there could be a bent screw shaft or misaligned bearing housings. Excessive buildup can also cause clicking noises. If you notice excessive noises from the screw, the return tube has probably been damaged or is broken. Other common symptoms include loss of positioning accuracy due to endplay in support bearings and excessive power consumption.
Another sign of a malfunctioning ball screw is noise, but if you can identify the problem before it occurs, you can flush it. A proper flush can solve any noise or extend the life of the ball screw assembly. Moreover, flushing the assembly can also reveal if the bearings are damaged or galled. If the bearings are broken, you can replace them with new ones. You can also contact a professional to perform PM for ball screw assembly.
A ball screw manufacturer recommends periodic lubrication to maximize uptime. In fact, ball screws are pre-lubricated at the factory, but periodic attention to lubrication is advisable. In addition, the lubrication reservoir must be designed to minimize the loss of lubricant. Finally, the wiper system must be designed to maximize wear protection. It is important to have a wiper system that is capable of sealing the nut and the screw shaft.
To choose a company for your ball screw maintenance, it is important to check their qualifications. The company must have a long-term track record in the servicing of different types of ball screws. Their customer service should include free evaluation. Additionally, the company should offer three services: reload, recondition, and replacement. Reload requires cleaning and polishing, reconditioning requires regrinding the ball nut, and replacement means replacing the screw with a new one. If you need a ball screw repair, it is best to contact a professional.
A damaged ball screw can shut down a manufacturing line unless the component is repaired quickly. Fortunately, there are several options for repair, including rebuilding, reconditioning, and replacement. Reconditioning and replacement involve remanufacturing the ball screw and ball nut, but both options require new parts. Choosing the best option for your ball screw will depend on how much damage it has suffered and the amount of money it will cost.
In most cases, ball screw repairs can be done on rolled and ground screw types. The process involves eutectic spraying and grinding the screw back to size. Among the three repair options, level 4 repair is the most expensive, but it can bring back the lifespan of the screw. Depending on the severity of damage, AB Linear may recommend level 3 repair to repair damaged ball screws. The following process will restore the screw to good working condition.
First, inspect the ball screw for signs of damage. If the ball screw is making unusual noises or vibrations, replace any worn seals or wipers. Discoloration of the ball nut or lead can indicate an inadequate lubrication. Damaged lube lines can also be the cause of a ball screw failure. Repairing these issues is often a cheaper option than purchasing new. By choosing to repair the component instead of replacing it, you will be saving up to 70% of the cost of a replacement ball screw.
If you do experience problems with your ball screw, the best option is to repair it. The cost of replacing a ball screw is prohibitively high, and it can be difficult to find a qualified repair company that specializes in repairing ball screws. A qualified company can repair the ball screw for a small fee. Regardless of the type of screw, it’s always a good idea to seek qualified assistance if it is experiencing any of these problems.
Application in steering systems
The conventional ball screw device is lacking a device to minimize noise and vibration. Both of these factors contribute to reduced performance and durability of a vehicle. The present invention overcomes these shortcomings. A ball screw device with a lower noise and vibration coefficient increases the durability and performance of a vehicle. In addition, it is easier to install and remove than the conventional version. Listed below are some advantages of ball screws in steering systems.
A ball screw is an important component of an automobile’s power steering system. This type of steering system requires a relatively low level of positional repeatability and precision. The screw is rotated by steering wheel motion and a ball nut engages with a Pitman arm. This arm is the primary linkage between the power steering box and the center link. By virtue of its low-cost and high-performance capabilities, ball screws are a desirable choice in many different automotive steering systems.
A ball screw device can be used in any electric power steering system. The shaft of the ball screw is threaded, and a ball nut is installed at its end. The screw includes a damper to reduce noise and vibration. The ball screw is often coupled with a power steering pump and electric motor to control the torque. In the present invention, the ball screw device incorporates a damper. This damper can increase the durability of the ball screw device.
As a leader in the manufacturing of ball screws, CZPT has been in the aerospace industry for decades. Its extensive experience and specialized expertise allows it to meet the diverse needs of the steering system market. Using this technology, CZPT offers a variety of solutions for this complex application. They can provide better positioning accuracy, higher durability and better control. So, if you’re in need of a ball screw in your steering system, contact CZPT today!
editor by czh