In recent years, ball screws have been looked at more and more favorably as replacements for hydraulics. They offer higher efficiency and speed, and can be controlled more precisely with servo loops. And who wants to deal with the unavoidable maintenance and disposal hassle of hydraulics?
Steinmeyer has been supporting this market shift with its line of Ultra Thrust ball screws. These screws utilize larger balls to support much greater load capacities. More recently, we have introduced innovations in through-the-nut return systems to push performance even higher.
The Ultra Thrust line began with our 50×20 mm nut using 15 mm balls. Our standard nut of that size, with 9.5 mm balls, was rated at a dynamic capacity of about 120 kN (12 tons). But the Ultra Thrust version exceeded twice the capacity, reaching 262 kN. We then expanded the line to include larger nuts. Most of our Ultra Thrust screws in the field are sized at 80×20 or 63×20.
More recently we extended the line with a 100×25 mm nut, using 19 mm balls. These screws have proved themselves in the most demanding applications of injection molding.
Beyond increasing the ball diameter, Steinmeyer has designed new return systems to optimize the load capacity. Our latest innovation uses multiple through-the-nut return paths, shown in the schematic below. With this system, the screw exceeds 1,400 kN of dynamic capacity!