What Are Ball Screws Used For?

Ball screws have many uses in industry and machinery. They are designed to withstand high thrust amounts with a small amount of internal friction. They are used where the machine or use requires a lot of precision. They are rather bulky, but that is accepted because of their superior performance.

What is a Ball Screw?

What is a ball screw? This is a special kind of screw defined as a linear actuator mechanical device that turns rotational motion into linear motion with a minimum of friction. The helical raceway is formed by the threaded shaft. This forms a path for ball bearings that in turn act as a precision screw. These screws are made to have close tolerances and little internal friction. Another way of describing this is that the ball assembly mimics the nut and the threaded shaft acts as the screw.

They are made of a screw shaft and a nut that is able to contain a ball to roll between the matching helical-type grooves. Ball screws are 90% efficient when converting input torque into thrust. The ball screw is known to be highly accurate because of its superior manufacturing accuracy. They are also very precise and have needed repeatability.

Ball Screw

The components include:

  • The screw shaft gets the rotational force so it rotates on its axis. Its power is supplied by a motor on its end.
  • The nut is the part of a ball screw that is a cylinder to house a ball bearing and a re-circulation system. Ball grooves are located in the internal space of the nut that matches the shaft grooves.
  • Ball bearings are the balls that move from the clearance of the nut to the shaft. They reduce the friction that could be made by the nut and the screw during movement. These balls are manufactured of steel.

What Are Ball Screws Used For?

Ball screws can be used in missiles and other aircraft to help move control-type surfaces such as electric fly by wire. They are also used in the automotive industry for power steering where they change rotary motion in the electric motor to axial movement in the steering rack. Ball screws are also used in robots, machine tools, and semiconductor manufacturing. They are also useful in precision equipment for assembly.

Repairing Ball Screws

Ball screws work hard and need to be in top condition for accuracy. A company such as DynaTect Dynamic Equipment Protection Can repair, replace, or rebuild ball screws for their customers. They have a 24-hour emergency repair service to keep the machinery moving and prevent undo delays. Standard repairs take about five days.

The experts will inspect the damaged ball screws and determine if they can be repaired or need to be replaced. The damaged one can be used as a pattern to manufacture a replacement ball screw. If the ball screw is able to be repaired, the company will get it done quickly. Types of repair include a warranty reload and restore to new condition, a temporary reload where the ball screw is cleaned and evaluated, and a regrind screw and supply of a new ball nut repair.

The repair company experts will remove the ball screw and evaluate it to determine if it can be repaired and the type of repair it will need. It may need to be replaced. The expert will give the customer a report about the repair possibilities and an estimate for the cost.