Mastering Ball Screws Pt. 1: Steel Ball Recirculation System and Characteristics

Ball screws are one of the many components seen throughout factory automation applications. Using the same concept seen with a bolt and nut, this assembly uses the rotary motion of the screw to actuate the nut in a linear direction.

A ball screw achieves its smooth linear motion by recirculating steel balls along the screw groove within the nut. The steel ball recirculation method differentiates the motion characteristics of the ball screw. Below we will explore the 4 main types of recirculation:

Steel Ball Recirculation Method Explanation
(1) End Cap Steel balls are recirculated by the end caps mounted within each end. Ball recirculation tunnels are constructed within the nut’s inner wall. Good with high speed operations.
(2) Deflector Deflectors are embedded on the nut outer tube to return the balls over the screw shaft per each lead. Suitable for compact designs.
(3) Return Tube Return tubes are mounted outside of the nut. The ease of assembly makes this suitable for mass production, however the overall size is relatively large compared to other methods.
(4) Guide Plate Uses guide plates or deflectors instead of the return tubes, and is good for making the design compact.

ball-screws-1

Methods 1, 2, and 3 are shown in much more detail in Figure 2.

ball-screws-3-images-to-1

Figure 2: In this figure we have three methods (In order of appearance): End Cap, Deflector, and Return Tube.

With a high level overview on the internal structure of ball screws, the concept of preloading will be easy to grasp. In the next article we will touch on preloading – the purpose and different methods.

5 (100%) 4 votes

Share this Story
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Brooke Bartos
Load More In Featured Articles

2 Comments


  1. Mastering Ball Screws | Hackaday

    November 2, 2016 at 10:30 am

    […] recently posted a few blog articles about ball screws. Some of the information is basic, but it also covers preloading and friction. Plus they are […]

    Reply

  2. Mastering Ball Screws

    November 2, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    […] recently posted a few blog articles about ball screws. Some of the information is basic, but it also covers preloading and friction. Plus they are […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Mastering Ball Screws Pt. 2: Ball Screw Preloads

Preloading is used to increase the feed accuracy and ...

Subscribe to our Channel

Follow Me @usa_misumi

Like us on Facebook

FOLLOW @ INSTAGRAM

  • @mcgillrobotics is working on their mars rover steering system featuring MISUMI gears! #STEM #marsrover #misumiusa #gears
  • Proudly celebrating MISUMI USA's 30th Anniversary with some new gear! ➡️⚙️💪🏻#celebration #flex #gearingup
  • Spring has sprung! Check out the beauty of our press die components: ball and roller guide posts and springs! #pressdie #mechanical
  • Try as you might, you can’t pin us down 😉. Take a peak at our NAAMS Locating Pins with configurable head and tip shapes, shank styles and surface treatments. #NAAMS #locatingpins #configurable #RainbowDLC
  • With over 21 million components, it’s hard to fit them all into one Instagram photo, but we tried anyway.
#ballscrew #linearguide #manualstage
  • MISUMI end mills are lining up for you. Configure flute length, diameter, shape, and number of flutes. Photo credit to @jziganto: #endmill #engineered #mro #notadrillbit
  • Today we celebrated a long and special tenure at MISUMI USA - happy 25th anniversary to Judi who has been with us nearly from the start! We also wished our President Mr. Ashida a happy birthday with this beautiful cake. The MISUMI family is lucky to have them both.
  • We’re ready! Visit us at ATX West booth 3949 for a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card! #beardgang #AdvMfgExpo #tradeshowlife