Ballscrew Bearing Guide

What is a Ballscrew Bearing?

A ballscrew bearing, which is a type of bearing, is specifically used in complement with ball screws, and will be mainly addressed in this article. Just like any other bearing, ballscrew bearings are essential parts that assist object’s rotary motion. Simply put, they offer support to the shaft that rotates in a mechanism.

Bearing is a mechanical element that is widely used across the machine industry. Its usage is so fundamental that people call it the “bread and butter”. Bearings are utilized in all aspects of machines, and because they are such a subtle part of the machine, people who are not familiar with industrial work probably have never heard the term.

Generally speaking, bearings can be utilized across a broad range of machinery such as automobiles, airplanes, electric generators, etc. They can even be used in household appliances, such as electric fans, refrigerators, air conditioners and so on. Bearings are also known as the support bearings due to the basic function they provide for the mechanism. They support the rotating shafts on various sorts of machine components like wheels, gears, rotors, turbines and so on, which thus allow them to rotate coherently.

In a nut shell, countless of machines require multiple shafts for rotary motion, which is why bearings are an irreplaceable part in the machine industry. Although often neglected, the use of bearings has and will continue to last as long as there is need of support for rotary motion.

A Closer Look into Ballscrew Bearing

1.    The bearing design

Usually compared with the lead screw bearings, ballscrew bearings are the relatively intricate construction owning to the screw arrangement. The ballscrew bearing contains ball screws that rotate around the ball nut of the bearing. The smaller contact surface and the more flexible movement of ball screws make them superior to lead screws. This can be realized in the effectiveness for reducing the sliding friction produced from the axial load and many other advantages, which would be discussed in the following paragraphs.

Ball screw bearings are typically angular contact bearings as well, which are available in duplex, triplex and quadruplex configurations. These angular contact bearings also come in single or double row design with various mounting configurations. Other ball screw support bearings you will find include separate thrust and radial roller bearings in a single assembly.

2.    The special features

In this section, we will take a closer look into the features and characteristics of ball screw bearings. Ball screw bearings, also commonly known as the ball screw support bearings, are often used in airplane parts. They are specially designed and configured to provide additional axial strength, precision and elevated thrust loading for the applications. Some of the core features that you should look for in a high quality ball screw bearing are shown as below: 

● Rigidity: Ball screw bearings should be designed specifically to provide large axial rigidity with low starting torque, in order to ensure accurate motion support.

● High Load Capacity: Ball screw bearings should have high load capacity for electric injection molding. With the careful calibration of ball diameters and contact angles, it results in higher load rating and extended service life.

● The Essential Equipment: Where there are shafts and bearings, seals are the essential equipments. With the appropriate arrangement of the seals, they can not only resist to debris, but also prevent leakage while lubricants are sufficiently supplied.

● Ease of use: Ball screw bearings should be compact and come with high-performance grease, in order to minimize the difficulty in applying these components within the mechanisms.

● Durability: When applied for the operation of a machine, make sure the surfaces of ball screw bearings are always clean. In this way, it ensures the reliability of application, and durability of the bearings as well as the entire device.

● Ease of Installation: Ball screw bearings should be easy to install and adjust, so as to achieve optimal performance for the mechanism.

Other important factors that you should consider when buying ball screw bearings are the load ratings, size, and operation speed. The relevant specification such as the detailed load and life ratings should be provided by manufacturers.

The Functions of Ballscrew Bearings

So, you may be wondering what kind of role ball screw bearings actually play, and how they ensure smooth workflow of the machines. Essentially, ball screw bearings have two major functions that allow the job to get done:

1.    Reduce friction and smooth rotary motion: 

Friction is bound to be created as putting the rotating shaft and the part that supports the rotation together. Ballscrew bearings are used between these components to reduce friction and make rotation smoother. The smoother the operation is, the lesser the cycle time it takes. Furthermore, the reduced cycle time leads to improved efficiency, which is the most important purpose of using ball screw bearings.

2.    Protect and position the rotating shaft:

During operation, a substantial amount of force is presented between the rotating shaft and the part that supports the rotation. In this respect, ballscrew bearings are designed to prevent potential damage from the given force. In addition, they also help maintain the desired position of the rotating shaft.

In conclusion, the existence of ball screw bearings, or bearings of any sort, allows extend the availability of the relevant machines for a long period of time. Moreover, despite the long history and versatility of bearings, it is important to continue developing these compact tools, so that more advanced machines can be manufactured in a harsher or more specialized context.

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