Conventional ball nut designs recirculate the balls through some external mechanism – tubes, inserts, or end deflectors. The Drake Internal Return Ball Nut uses the track of the nut itself to recirculate the balls – no tubes, inserts, or deflectors at all. This design recirculates the balls internally, simplifying the structure of the nut, and making it less costly to produce.
John L. Drake is the developer of the Drake Internal Return Ball Nut, and was awarded US Patent No. 7,013,747. He is recognized worldwide for his expertise with thread and gear manufacturing machines and remains a consultant for the company he founded.
With conventional ball nut designs, aligning the finished thread with the return system requires complicated machining and fixturing. Not so with this internal return approach – you simply find the roughed thread in the hardened blank then finish grind the advance and return features in one finish grind operation. Drake has developed special grinding processes and machines for licensees and all machines are shipped pre-programmed to machine and then grind all features of the internal return ball nut.
Drake Internal Return Ball Nuts are inherently safe and easy to assemble. There are no holes through the walls and no loose parts. They’re lighter and offer a small ball nut diameter for a given ballscrew.
These ball nuts can be used wherever traditional ballscrew and ball nut designs have been applied. Because the design is inherently safe, it can be used in critical linear motion applications in automotive, defense and aerospace. They are particularly well suited in applications where space is at a premium and weight savings are required. The design excels where defect-free operation is critical to human safety.
Filed Under: Off highway • construction, Fastening + joining • locks • latches • pins, Linear motion • slides, Motion control • motor controls, Screws • nuts • bolts