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Ball screw operation

Ball screws are fundamental solutions in precision engineering. Due to their unique characteristics, these screws are widely used in various applications that require high precision and reliability. 

With this article, we at UMBRAGROUP will explore the main features and operation of these important products.

Ball screws: what are they and what are the main components?

Before discussing the actual operation, it is essential to understand what a ball screw is. It is a precision mechanical device designed to convert rotary motion to linear motion or vice versa, with high efficiency and minimal resistance to motion.

A ball screw is composed of several key components:

  • Threaded shaft or screw: cylindrical bar with helical grooves of hemispherical shape, helix pitch may vary according to size and application.
  • Mother screw or nut: can have various shapes and has internal helical grooves of hemispherical shape. The pitch of the helix is the same as that of the screw. This component is coupled with the screw.
  • Spheres: are interposed between the hemispherical grooves of the screw and the nut allowing linear movement of the nut when the screw is put into rotation.Conversely, they allow rotation of the nutscrew when the screw is subjected to axial thrust.
  • Recirculation system: is a component that ensures the continuous movement, called recirculation, of the balls between the helical grooves.
  • End supports: the end supports hold the screw shaft in place and provide the necessary stability for the entire process.
  • Seals or scrapers: protect the balls and the recirculation system from dust and external elements, keeping the balls lubricated.

How do ball screws work?

Ball screws work thanks to the rotary movement of the shaft that rolls the balls along the helical track, producing the linear movement of the nut.

The spheres play a crucial role in reducing friction, allowing smooth and efficient movement. When the balls roll, they minimize contact between the screw shaft and the nut, resulting in reduced friction and wear.

Conclusions and the role of UMBRAGROUP

In conclusion, ball screws represent a key technology in precision engineering, offering innovative solutions for applications requiring high precision and reliability in linear motion.

In this context, UMBRAGROUP is an international leading company for the production of ball screws for the industrial sector, as well as a world leader for the production of ball screws for the aeronautical sector.

Our long experience and continuous technological research allow us to offer products that meet each customer's specific needs; contact us today for more information!

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