What is a linear guide(way)?

According to THK, a linear guide is a machine element that utilizes bearings, which is developed for rotary motion, in order to move heavy objects easily in a straight line. It is referred to as a “recirculating linear ball bearing” by ISO and JIS, and “linear guideway” by the Japan Machine Tool Builders’ Association. It has different names such as “linear guide way”, “linear motion guide”. Some companies also call it “linear motion ball guide”.

The linear guide can mainly be divided into three parts: a mobile carriage, a rail, and balls. The carriage is on the top of the rail which bears the working table. The rail supports the movements of the carriage. The balls are installed between the gap of the carriage and the rail so that the carriage can move smoothly and quickly.

A ball linear guide

What are roller guides and ball guides?

Currently, there are two types of guide ways – roller guides and ball guides.

The difference between ball linear guides and roller linear guides is the rolling media. Ball linear guides use spherical balls for the load-bearing elements. Roller linear guides use cylindrical or barrel-shaped rollers instead. If you are trying to design a machine that requires linear motion, you have to figure out what the difference between these two types of guides.

Roller linear guides

Advantages of roller guides

1.A higher load capacity

Roller have much larger surface contact than balls when subjected to a load. It means that roller guide ways can bear higher load capacities than ball guide ways.

2. Downsize ability

Due to the above advantage, we can use smaller roller bearings than the ball bearing which would achieve the same travel life.

3. A higher rigidity

The line contact formed by rollers also creates higher rigidity than the point contact formed by balls. So many machine manufacturers use roller guides widely.

The precision grade division of linear guides

When talking about precision grade of linear guides, you need to know the words “the walking parallelism” or “the running parallelism”. It measures the upper table of the carriage facing the lower surface of the rail when after moving some distance. The grade is divided into five classes. Let’s take a precision linear guides 100mm long as an example to check the walking parallelism.

  1. Normal(C): 12μm
  2. High(H):7μm
  3. Precision(P):3μm
  4. Super precision(SP):2μm
  5. Ultra Precision(UP):μm

How about BIYOUN’s choice?

There are plenty of brands of linear guides to choose. Based on our product orientation, we currently select HTPM SP grade roller linear guides for our machinery. This grade has high positional accuracy, long life with high motion accuracy, high-speed motion, easy installation, and a competitive price.

Wanna know about the HTPM linear guides on our machine? Leave your comment or just email us: [email protected].