Cold-formed aluminium lead screws: it’s new and it works!

Hannover Messe day three – I’ve just discovered the Eichenberger new lead screws in aluminium. Amazing, those weight a third of normal steel parts and offers the same functions (and more).

Speedy lead screws out of aluminium, ø16 mm, lead 90 mm.
Speedy lead screws out of aluminium, ø16 mm, lead 90 mm.

Lightweight design has become one of the key future technologies in the aerospace, automotive and mechanical engineering fields and companies will be happy to learn that there are actually solutions allowing them to keep that pace.

Material versatility recognised
Aluminium is the most-used metallic material after steel. Among other things, it has an extremely low density and is therefore very lightweight. Plain aluminium forms an oxide layer on its surface in air, which then makes it corrosion resistant. This self-passivation, the combination of light weight and stability, the outstanding machinability and the fact that aluminium is non-magnetic is increasing the importance of more and more new application fields.

The dialogue with customers drives innovations
Eichenberger Gewinde was contacted to realise non-magnetic balls screws to be used in tomography In this case the exceptional challenge was to develop the perfect solution for the demanding, non-magnetic injector drive unit. The Rondo cold-rolled round thread lead screw out of aluminium, with a diameter of 12 mm and a lead of 5 mm, meets these high-tech requirements.

Speedy lead screws out of aluminium, ø26 mm, lead 6 mm.
Speedy lead screws out of aluminium, ø26 mm, lead 6 mm.

Aluminium lead screw
The thread specialist looks for non-standard thread geometries to solve problems. Eichenberger manufactures new round and high helix lead screws out of aluminium and the company worked for more than one year to find the right way to produce them. There were two challenging obstacles to overcome: – Like all metallic materials, aluminium can also be strengthened through alloying. Even small amounts of precipitated alloying elements affect the tensile strength. It takes a lot to achieve the ideal strength values. – Furthermore, while aluminium is a material distinguished by good machinability, it is still quite demanding when it comes to accurate and controlled cold-forming of threads. Aluminium easily spalls during thread rolling. Intuition is needed, not only for careful selection of the optimal raw material and a suitable alloy. The geometry and design of the tooling used for the forming process is also key to a technically perfect and high quality product.

Lightweight, non-magnetic and about the same on other characteristics than steel ones, the aluminium new lead screws are very promising on many fields.

The new lead screws answer to many questions of designers and the booth of Eichenberger Gewinde is the perfect place to discover that new product range.
The new lead screws answer to many questions of designers and the booth of Eichenberger Gewinde is the perfect place to discover that new product range.

You can still visit Eichenberger Gewinde at Hannover Messe till the end of the week on booth D08, Halle 16.

Eichenberger Gewinde AG
Grenzstrasse 30
5736 CH-Burg
Tel. + 41-62 765 10 10 – fax + 41-62 765 10 55
[email protected]www.gewinde.ch

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