What is a lead screw?
Lead screw is a type of screw which is used as linkage in machines. It converts rotary (or turning) motion into linear motion.
Due to large contact area between male and female members of a lead screw, it has very high frictional losses.
Advantages of lead screws
- They are generally self-locking
- They have minimum number of parts
- Their working is quiet
- They require very less maintenance
- They offer very precise and accurate linear motion
- They offer very large mechanical advantage
- They are easy to manufacture since no specialized machinery is involved in its manufacturing
- They are simple to design
- They are compact
- They have very high load carrying capacity
Disadvantages of lead screw
- They have very poor efficiency
- Due to very high friction between male and female parts, wear and tear is high
Applications of lead screw
- Machine slides
- Linear actuators
Types of lead screws
Lead screws are classified on the basis of type of thread used. Hence, they can be classified into following three types.
- Buttress thread
- Acme thread
- Square thread
Alternatives of lead screw
- Piezoelectric actuation
- Electromagnetic actuation
- Gear trains
- Fluid power
- Roller screws
- Ball screws
Below are some common questions and answers related to lead screws
What is the function of leadscrew?
The function of a lead screw is to convert turning motion into linear motion.
What is the difference between a leadscrew and a ball screw?
In ball screws surface friction is replaced by the rolling friction of balls, which is much lower. A ball screw is much more efficient than leadscrew.
Featured : By © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons), CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56578630
Lead screw: By Orion Lawlor – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30616623