A ball screw is a small mechanical linear actuator that translates rotational motion to linear motion with a small amount of friction. Ball screw assemblies function with a threaded shaft that provides a helical raceway for ball bearings. This shaft acts as a precision screw for the unit to move along its length based on the direction of rotation. As well as being able to apply or withstand high thrust loads, ball screws can operate with minimum amounts of internal friction enabling them to work for long periods of time without excessive wear.
Ball screw units and assemblies are commonly used within the aerospace industry as well as by the military to move control surfaces. They are also often found in machine tools, robotics and in steppers for a wide range of manufacturing applications.
There are various types of ball screw nuts available, including: