Common Causes of Ball Screw Failures

Understanding the causes of ball screw failures is essential for maintaining optimal machinery performance. Our guide offers insights into common issues that can lead to these failures, including improper installation, inadequate lubrication, and excessive operational stress. For a deeper dive into addressing these problems once they occur, visit our comprehensive Ball Screw Repair FAQ page. Here you’ll find expert advice on troubleshooting, repair, and maintenance solutions to keep your machinery running smoothly. Don’t forget to check out our detailed troubleshooting tips and feel free to contact our experts for personalized guidance.

Misalignment will cause a higher than normal running torque. Check for:

  • Bent Screw
  • Alignment of screw in relation to journals
  • Alignment of screw in relation to nut housing
  • Alignment of screw in relation to slides, gibs, and roller cages

Improper lubrication can cause poor running and high wear. Check for:

  • Proper maintenance of machine lubrication system
  • Correct type of lubricant (follow manufacturer’s recommendations)
  • Make sure lubricant is clean
  • Remember synthetic lubricants can cause varnish deposits

Dirty environments can cause poor running and high wear.

  • Make sure proper wipers are installed and in good working condition
  • Consider installing a bellow type protective cover
  • Consider lubrication system filters or strainers
  • Check coolants for rust and gum content
  • Be careful with soaps and high pressure cleaning so that lubricants are not washed away

 Store extra ball screws properly.

  • Lubricate and rotate nuts periodically
  • Keep screws protected with tubular plastic sheeting
  • Hang ball screws vertically to keep them straight
  • Keep units from excessive vibration

 Be aware of the following potential problems:

  • Ball screws can be overloaded
  • Hardness of screw and nut may be substandard
  • There may be a mismatch of leads between the screw and the nut
  • A screw may have been crashed and not look like it
  • A unit may be partially disassembled and not look like it

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