The 6 steps of ball screw selection

When choosing a suitable ball screw and nut you need to pay attention to several factors. The most important factors are presented below.

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1.     Rotational speed

n= rotational speed [rpm]

v= linear velocity [m/min]

p= lead [mm]

ball screw rotational speed

Rotational speed should not exceed 3000rpm.

2.     Critical speed

The permitted maximum speed of all ball screws depends on the screw diameter, end fixing type, and free screw length. This value can be read from the graph below. The graph shows 4 speeds matching the 4 mounting options and incorporates a safety factor of 25%.

ballscrew critical speed

3.     Buckling load 

The maximum axial load which can be carried depends on the diameter of the ball screw, end fixing, and free length. The buckling load for 4 different end fixings is shown below; the chart includes a safety factor of 100%.

ballscrew buckling load

4.      Average speed and average load

 nm= average speed [rpm]

q= time fraction [%]

Fm= average load

Where the speed varies through the machine cycle, the average speed is calculated as follows:

ball screw average speed

Where the load varies, the average load is calculated as follows:

ball screw average load

Where the load and speed vary, the average load is calculated as follows:

ball nut average load

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5.     Service life

The basic service life is expressed by the number of revolutions that will be attained or exceeded by 90% of a representative sample of identical ball screws before the first signs of material fatigue become evident. Life in hours can be calculated by using the average speed.

L10= service life [revolutions]

Fm= average load [kN]

Ca= dynamic capacity [kN]

Lh= service life (hours)

ball screw service life


6.     Torque calculation 

Input torque for conversion of rotary motion to linear motion:

Tin= drive torque [Nm]

F= operating load [N]

P=lead [mm]

η= efficiency (approximately 0.9)

 ball screw torque

Output torque for conversion of linear motion to rotary motion:

 Tout= transmitted torque

η= efficiency (approximately 0.8)

ball screw output torque 

Source: HepcoMotion, BSP ballscrew premier

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  • Ayyappa says :
    Jul 09, 2021 at 13:28
    It's a great article on ball screws selection. For people who have no knowledge on how to select ball screws this info would be very helpful to them. Thank you. keep posting this sort of informative article.
  • Robert Otoo says :
    Aug 25, 2022 at 01:22

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