Home » Blog » Lead Screw » Can lead screws outperform ball screws?

Can lead screws outperform ball screws?

Views: 34     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-11-09      Origin: Site

Can lead screws outperform ball screws?

Lead screws are generally considered a less expensive alternative to ball screws-suitable only for lightweight applications where accuracy requirements are lower.While ball screws generally have advantages over lead screws in terms of load capacity and stiffness,lead screws rely on sliding rather than rolling motion making them a better choice for some applications.Here are five ways lead screws are better than ball screws.

lead screws and nuts

ALM affordable high quality lead screws

Vertical Operation

The lead screw is based on the sliding contact between the nut and the lead screw,which makes them less efficient than the ball screw.But in vertical applications,this inefficiency has an advantage:it prevents the load from driving backwards when the motor is powered off.This ability to maintain a vertical load without reverse driving is important in applications where the load needs to wait for the top of its stroke while other processes(such as pallet stacking and parts sorting)are performed.In order to use ball screws in these applications,a brake or hold device is required,and a lead screw can usually(depending on its efficiency)hold a vertical load without the use of a brake.

lead screw

In vertical applications,reducing the reverse drive tendency is an advantage of the lead screw.


 Cleanroom Environments

In a clean room environment,lubrication is a liability because oils and greases are major sources of pollution.While ball screws(or any metal-to-metal contact bearings)require lubrication,stainless steel screws with self-lubricating polymer nuts do not,making them a good choice for cleaner roommates.This is especially important in medical,laboratory,and electronics applications where not only must the integrity of the clean room be maintained,but airborne lubrication particles can also damage precision parts or processes.

Highly Contaminated Environments 

Because their motion relies on sliding friction rather than the rolling body,the lead screw is more tolerant than the ball screw of dust,debris,and debris.Despite harsh environmental conditions,lead screws do not require seals--which can increase friction and may require frequent replacement -- because there is no lubricant to maintain,and preventing contamination is not as important as ball screws.Applications such as woodworking and paper processing that produce large amounts of dust and debris can greatly shorten the service life of ball screws,and the lead screws can withstand these environments with little impact on performance or life.

Washdown Applications

Because no flushing lubricants are required,screws and nuts come in a wide variety of materials and coatings,making them an excellent choice for flushing environments.This is particularly beneficial in food and beverage processing and packaging applications,where equipment must be cleaned and disinfected regularly.Some lead screws can even operate while fully submerged in water,making them suitable for water jet applications.

ALM lead screw

The lead screw is ideal for rinsing tasks in food and beverage applications. 

Low Noise Applications 

The inherent steel to steel rolling bodies and recirculation of ball screws cause them to make a lot of noise.Lead screws,on the other hand,produce relatively little noise because they rely on sliding motion and have no rolling body.Because of their low noise levels,lead screws are commonly used in laboratory automation and medical imaging devices where the environment is inherently quiet and the user or patient may be disturbed by excessive noise.Low noise components are also required for consumer devices such as printers,scanners and appliances,where lead screws are the preferred choice over ball screws.  

lead screw dimension

The lead screw provides almost noiseless movement for laboratory equipment.

Lead screws have moved beyond the realm of low-precision,basic linear motion equipment with anti-backlash nuts to achieve greater accuracy and materials that can withstand challenging environments.With these advances,designers and OEMs are using lead screws in areas that were once considered only suitable for high-precision ball screws,proving that yes,lead screws can outperform ball screws in some applications.

Click to select ALM high quality linear motion components for your application:





 No 1998 Jinfeng south road,Wuzhong district,Suzhou China.


Sign up to receive helpful Q&A, info on upcoming services and more.
Copyright © 2019. ALM Intelligent Technology(Suzhou) Co.,Limited All rights reserved.            Sitemap              Privacy Policy