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What may cause premature failure of ball screws?
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Accepted AnswerPremature failure may be caused by any of the following:
A) Misalignment of the ball nut to screw which results in side loading or eccentric loading will reduce life. This may cause the bearing balls to split or get flats on them. The bearings may even break out of the tubes.
B) Metal chips or dirt in the ball nut will not allow the bearings free circulation. The bearing balls may get flats on them because of skidding and spalling.
C) Lack of lubrication: Proper lubrication will help dissipate heat and reduce metal-to-metal wear of components.
D) Excessive speed: Exceeding the ball nut critical speed can break pickup fingers off causing the balls to come out of the nut. Exceeding the screw critical speed will cause the screw to whip or vibrate and cause misalignment. Shaft speeds resulting in screw surface speeds above 8,000 IPM will reduce rated life.