Lead Screws and Polymer Nuts for the Packaging Industry

If you’re a machine builder in the packaging industry, you’re probably used to figuring out how to convert rotary motion into linear. Leads screws with metal nuts may have been your go-to in the past, especially if you were trying to increase the functionality and adaptability of your format adjustments to run a variety of products on a given machine with less downtime. However, opting for high-performance polymers in the future could increase the service life of your application and increase production at your facility.

Clearing Up Misconceptions

A corroded metal lead screw nut next to a non-corroded lead screw nut and a plastic lead screw nut, with an arrow pointing left to right through each

A common misconception of polymer lead screw nuts is that they are not durable enough for applications with requirements such as high temperatures, high loads, or high duty cycles.

Often, customers approach these types of applications with a ball screw or a metal lead screw nut. These materials can appear up to the task but create a less-than-favorable coefficient of friction. Due to this, metal nuts require constant lubrication and maintenance to help them withstand the demands of the application.

Our polymer lead screw nuts employ our tribologically optimized polymers to create lower coefficients of friction. With this, our design inherently produces constant lubrication in the form of solid lubricants, which we have been blended into the material. The different material blends we offer can meet the varying demands of your applications.

A vertical lead screw system in use for the packaging industry

igus Nut Materials

One of our go-to materials would be iglide J. This material produces one of the lowest coefficients of friction and can handle demanding duty cycles.

For applications requiring FDA compliance, we often turn to iglide A180.

We use our iglide W300 material (also referred to as L280) for applications that see less frequent motion but need to withstand high static loading.

These are some of our most common materials that we use for lead screw nut applications, but we have a catalog of over 50 materials that we can employ depending on the specific needs of your application.

What does this mean for you?

  • Increased functionality on your machines with a cost-effective design
  • Reduced heat build-up
  • Longer running life
  • Less noise
  • Predictable life cycle

Beyond offering our lead screws in a variety of materials, we also have multiple thread profiles to choose from. Commonly we use ACME, TRAP, or our proprietary dryspin design.

Infographic explaining the differences between dryspin high-helix threading and standard lead screw threading

dryspin produces less noise, longer life, and improved efficiency due to the rounded teeth, asymmetric thread design and optimized thread angle.

Not only can we suggest designs and materials, we can also evaluate your unique applications and configure custom lead screws for your application. If you are interested in speaking with an expert about polymer lead screw nuts for your machine or equipment, contact myself or our dryspin Product Specialist. You can also browse through products here or learn more about igus and our success in the food and packaging industries here