The Umbra Group, which manufactures ballscrews for aerospace and industrial machinery applications, is adopting a unique concept in electromechanical injection molding machines using Cerbec(R) silicon nitride balls from Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics. "The balls play an extremely important role in our ballscrew technology," said Luciano Pizzoni, stress analyst and R&D chief engineer at Umbra. "In applications where poor lubrication and the necessity of long life are pressing issues, we use larger ceramic balls spaced by smaller steel balls. With this new design, the rigidity of the system can be optimized and wear is no longer an issue. Components with ceramic balls are very forgiving. Using both ceramic and steel balls, which resist adhesion, provides higher load capacity, greater reliability and an enormous increase in the number of cycles."
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