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Ballscrews Vs. Roller Screws


Ballscrews and roller screws are two of the most popular components for applications that move loads linearly. They can both be used with electric actuators but there are significant differences which make each of them ideal for different applications.

Here we look at how both ballscrews and roller screws are made and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Ballscrews Manufacture and Design

The ballscrews manufacture design involves inserting ball bearings between the screw’s corresponding threads of the screw and the nut. The ball bearings will roll around within their casing and transmit force and relative motion as they circulate.

Actuators operating with ballscrews will boast a high thrust capability and a consistently high efficiency rate of around 80%. They also tend to have a longer service life than roller screws, but will also generate much more noise during operation. Another advantage of the ballscrews manufacture and design is that they can be backdriven.

Ballscrews distributors like YB Components will usually provide these products for applications featuring higher thrusts and a greater duty cycle as they have better heat management than roller screws due to the fewer contact areas. As reliable ballscrews suppliers, YB Components keep a wide variety of such products in local stocks ready to ship out fast and free all over the UK and the rest of the world. The available ballscrews come in many different sizes, leads and accuracy grades.

There is some maintenance required for ballscrews, including the ball nut assembly needing to be regularly lubricated, though this also depends on how high a duty cycle it has.

Roller Screws Manufacture and Design

Actuators using roller screws will transmit the force via threaded triangular rollers within the nut. The rollers are in contact with the screw’s threads as they rotate inside the nut which generates the power to move the load.

Their advantages are primarily the amount of contact areas they have, which are significantly greater than the standard products available through ballscrews suppliers. This gives them a good efficiency rating around 80%, though ballscrews are often more consistently efficient.

The extra contact areas also mean there can be issues with overheating in high speed applications. Roller screws also have similar lead accuracy to ballscrews, though they are hardened before being precision ground which gives them a higher dynamic load rating compared to ballscrews.

Roller screws generally have a lower thrust capability to ballscrews and do not have as long a service life, but will be the better option for applications requiring a higher dynamic load rating.

They also don’t need a lot of maintenance, with occasional lubrication only really necessary for high duty-cycle applications.

If you require any ballscrews or roller screws or would like to know more about the ballscrews manufacture process, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading ballscrews distributors.