Acme Screw Thread Form Terms

THREAD TYPES - The Acme thread form, established over 100 years ago, replaced square thread screws, which had straight-sided flanks and were difficult to manufacture. There are three main classes of Acme thread forms: General Purpose (G), Centralizing (C), and Stub Acme. The General Purpose and Centralizing thread forms have a nominal depth of thread of 0.50 × pitch and have a 29° included thread angle. Some Helix sizes have 40° included angle. Trapezoidal thread forms have a 30° included thread angle. When compared to general-purpose thread forms, centralizing threads are manufactured with tighter tolerances and reduced clearance on the major diameter.

Stub Acme threads follow the same basic design, but have a thread depth less than one half the pitch.

If an Acme nut is side loaded with a radial load, a “G” class will “wedge” when the nut thread flanks come in contact with the screw thread flanks. To prevent wedging, less clearance and tighter tolerances are allowed between the major diameter of the nut and the major diameter of the screw.

CAUTION:  Although a side load will not cause a centralizing thread to wedge, the nut is not designed to operate with a side load such as a pulley, drive belt, etc. See “Load Definition” section for further information. (See FIG. 1)

SCREW STARTS - The number of independent threads on the screw shaft; example one, two or four. (See FIG. 2 below)

LAND (major) DIAMETER- The outside diameter of the screw.

PITCH DIAMETER- On an Acme screw, this diameter is approximately halfway between the land diameter and the root diameter. It is the diameter at which the thread thickness is equal to the space between threads.

ROOT (minor) DIAMETER - The diameter of the screw measured at the bottom of the thread.

PITCH- The axial distance between threads. Pitch is equal to the lead in a single start screw.

LEAD- The axial distance the nut advances in one revolution of the screw. The lead is equal to the pitch times the number of starts.