Acme Lead Screw Lubricants: A Brief Overview

Acme lead screws are increasingly the preferred solution for linear actuation. Lubrication for acme screws is just as important. Lubricant types fall into two categories: liquid and non-liquid. Liquid lubricants are petroleum-based mineral oils with 90% or higher base oil. Non-liquid lubricants – or, dry lubricants – are used when an oil-based lubricant is ineffective.

Many of our products are designed to be self lubricating with no need for additional lubrication or external grease. These products are designed to require no maintenance. We offer various lubrication options and the best solution will most often depend upon your particular application requirements.

Proper lubrication must be provided to achieve satisfactory service life. Helix lubricant (E-100 spray lube or PAG-1 grease) is recommended for applications using PowerAc™ nuts. Lubrication intervals are determined by the application. It is required that screw assemblies are lubricated often enough to maintain a film of lubricant on the screw.

Lubrication is important for long-term performance and reliability. Helix provides both wet and dry lubricants for our products. For instance, our E-100 spray lubricant or our PAG-1 grease is recommended for applications using precision lead screws without PTFE coating.

There’s also lubricants available for industry-specific needs.Our grease for medical grade applications is PTFE-thickened, high viscosity, and completely fluorinated in order to withstand high temperatures and exposure to harsh chemicals.

The grease available for semiconductor/static dissipative applications is PTFE-thickened and has a heavy viscosity, with a very low vapor pressure. Military and aerospace industries can use our grease that’s also PTFE-thickened, with a medium viscosity and completely fluorinated.

Does Your Lead Screw Need End Machining?

Linear motion applications utilizing a ball screw or an acme screw require high tolerance screw end machining matched with precision bearing mounts. Helix Linear Technologies has designed a family of standard machined ends applicable to a variety of bearing arrangements.

Specifying standard machined ends results in quicker deliveries. The machined ends shown below represent designs that are compatible with common application requirements for either simple or fixed bearing support. Included in the chart are the locknut and lockwasher identication.These standard ends may be machined and ground to finish size.

End machining for lead screws is not required, however, the majority of lead screw applications involve some sort of modification on one or both of the ends.

To obtain optimum performance of your acme screw assembly, it is recommended that the machining be performed at the Helix factory. Screws may be purchased machined to your specifications or to standard end machining designs.

So What Are End Machining Types? 

  • 1K, 2K, 3K, 4K and 5K are designed with a shaft extension and keyway for square keys.
  • 1L, 2L, 3L, 4L and 5L are designed with a shaft extension without a keyway.
  • 1N, 2N, 3N and 4N are designed to be a non-driven support end.
  • Double bearing supports use a Type 3N, 3L and 3K.
  • Single bearing supports use Type 1N.

Where standard ends do not satisfy the application requirements, special ends may be machined to customer specifications. Please submit a print for a prompt and competitive quotation.