A ball screw is a mechanical linear actuator that converts rotational to linear motion. Ball bearings are arranged symmetrically and move down a threaded shaft, which then acts as a precision screw on the nut of the ball assembly. Due to the need for some type of ball re-circulation mechanism, these screws tend to be bulky. However, ball screws can endure high thrust loads and deliver high precision with minimal internal friction.
Lead screws, also known as power or translation screws, link machines in the conversion of rotational into linear motion. They are classified by their threading, including acme, buttress, and the most efficient square varieties. Lead screws have greater frictional losses due to the larger area of sliding contact between its parts. As a result, they are generally reserved for intermittent use in low-power actuators.
Ball Screws & Lead Screws supplied by MCMA Member Companies