Lead Screw vs Ball Screw: 10 Differences Between Lead Screw and Ball Screw

What is Lead screw and Ball screw

Lead screws are also known as translator screws as it is known to transform turning motion into linear motion. Ball screws on the other hand also known as mechanical linear actuator transforms rotational motion into linear motion. In this post, we will try to distinguish lead screw and ball srcew.

lead screws vs ball screws
Lead screws
ball screw and lead screw comparison
Ball screws

Lead screw vs Ball screw

The further differences between a lead screw and a ball screw are illustrated below.

Lead Screw

Ball Screw

  • They are reasonable as compared to the latter.
  • More expensive as compared to lead screws.
  • Lead screws are more efficient for vertical applications.
  • Ball screws gives problems when used in vertical applications.
  • They are self locking and hence do not require a braking system.
  • These require a braking system to function which needs to be greased at regular intervals to achieve longer work life.
  • These have a higher friction rate and run at very hot temperature.
  • These have a lower friction rate and run at considerably cooler temperature.
  • Less efficient as it requires greater torque and motor and drive.
  • Considered much more efficient than lead screw as it requires lesser torque.
  • Lead screws do not contain anything that might help to get rid of high friction.
  • Contains ball bearings which help the screw to keep friction under control and the system efficient.
  • Due to its friction rate which is high it is not suited for high throughput or high speed conditions or those with long cycle times.
  • Ball screw is better suited in the aforesaid mentioned conditions.
  • They do not create any noise.
  • These are considerably noisy.
  • These needs to be replaced more frequently.
  • These work well and are usually rendered efficient for the long haul.
  • These are cheaper.
  • More expensive with respect to lead screws.
  • Lead screw is useful for simple transfer applications in which rigidity, precision etc does not matter much.
  • Ball screw is useful when precision and rigidity and efficiency are a big factor.

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