ETA+ ball screw undergoing testing on one of Steinmeyer's test benches.
Critical speed is the first (lowest) speed at which the ball screw shaft is in resonance. In applications with rotating shafts it limits the rpm of the screw. Variables that influence it are shaft diameter, unsupported length and support bearing configuration.>>> continue
A second limitation is imposed by the mass forces upon balls. It depends on internal construction of the ball nut and in particular the ball return, and ball diameter (or mass).>>> continue
The concept of DN is a simplified way of determining the maximum rotational speed of a ball screw. DN is simply the multiplication of nominal diameter of the ball screw in mm times the maximum allowable speed in rpm. Keep in mind that for very small and very large screws this will not return valid numbers.>>> continue
The maximum nut speed should not be exceeded under any circumstances. There are, however, special executions available that are suitable for higher speeds, so please inquire.
Critical speed may be exceeded in certain cases - contact our application engineers for further advice. And critical speed is not a significant limitation in applications with rotating nuts.
When operating at prolonged high speeds, heating of the ball screw may become the limiting factor. Hollow screws for internal cooling are available, but this requires an expensive additional system with its often troublesome rotating unions. Nuts with cooling jacket, which prevents heat migration into the slide, have been tested but are not practical.
Another possibile solution to running at high speeds for prolonged time is Steinmeyer's ETA+ technology. This advanced ball screw design produces less than half the heat compared to a regular ball screw of same size. So steady-state temperatures remain much lower. This may eliminate the need to use a forced cooling system for the ball screw shaft. Pre-tensioning amounts to compensate for thermal expansion are lower too, significantly reducing the burden on the support bearings from tensioning forces.