Buttress thread

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Two types of buttress thread profiles used in machinery. Buttress thread form.png
Two types of buttress thread profiles used in machinery.

The buttress thread form refers to two different thread profiles:


Buttress thread in machinery

In machinery, the buttress thread form is designed to handle extremely high axial thrust in one direction. The load-bearing thread face is perpendicular to the screw axis, [5] or at a slight slant (usually no greater than 7°). [6] The other face is slanted, often at 45°. The resulting thread form has the same low friction properties as a square thread form but at about twice the shear strength due to the long thread base. This thread form also is easy to machine on a thread milling machine, unlike the difficult-to-machine square thread form. It can also compensate for nut wear using a split nut, much like the Acme thread form. [7]

Buttress threads have often been used in the construction of artillery, particularly with the screw-type breechblock. [3] They are also often used in vises, because great force is only required in one direction. [7]

It is obvious on inspection that a buttress thread with perpendicular face, operating in a split nut, generates minimal disengagement force when tightened in the normally loaded direction, and thus it is possible to derive quick release devices to, for example, allow rapid repositioning of the movable jaw of a vise without having to rotate the screw by many turns. A screw profile, such as acme, where the thrust face is not perpendicular to the axis, generates a significant disengagement force on a split nut, therefore a more robust controlling mechanism would be required. Quick release vices are readily available. It is not known whether any of them are currently using buttress screws. An expired patent for a clamp using a buttress thread exists and this article describes a vise whose screw thread is disengaged by reverse rotation, which is likely to use a buttress thread, however no currently manufactured devices of that nature have been found at this time (October 2018).


The image gallery below shows some of the types of buttress threads.


Buttress thread in oil field tubing

In oil field tubing, buttress thread is a pipe thread form designed to provide a tight hydraulic seal. The thread form is similar to that of Acme thread [11] [12] but there are two distinct threaded portions of differing diameters and profiles, the larger having a wedging profile, with a tapered sealing portion in between the larger and smaller diameters. High torque may be transmitted and longitudinal force is transmitted almost parallel to the axis. The thread is about the same strength as standard v threads.

See also

Related Research Articles

National pipe thread

American National Standard Pipe Thread standards, often called national pipe thread (NPT) standards for short, are U.S. national technical standards for screw threads used on threaded pipes and pipe fittings. They include both tapered and straight thread series for various purposes including rigidity, pressure-tight sealing, or both. The various types are each named with a symbol and a full name; examples of the symbols include NPT, NPS, NPTF, NPSC, and others.

Screw thread A helical structure used to convert between rotational and linear movement or force

A screw thread, often shortened to thread, is a helical structure used to convert between rotational and linear movement or force. A screw thread is a ridge wrapped around a cylinder or cone in the form of a helix, with the former being called a straight thread and the latter called a tapered thread. A screw thread is the essential feature of the screw as a simple machine and also as a threaded fastener.

Linear actuator Actuator that creates motion in a straight line

A linear actuator is an actuator that creates motion in a straight line, in contrast to the circular motion of a conventional electric motor. Linear actuators are used in machine tools and industrial machinery, in computer peripherals such as disk drives and printers, in valves and dampers, and in many other places where linear motion is required. Hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders inherently produce linear motion. Many other mechanisms are used to generate linear motion from a rotating motor.

Jackscrew Mechanical lifting device operated by turning a leadscrew

A jackscrew, or screw jack, is a type of jack that is operated by turning a leadscrew. It is commonly used to lift moderately heavy weights, such as vehicles; to raise and lower the horizontal stabilizers of aircraft; and as adjustable supports for heavy loads, such as the foundations of houses.

British Standard Whitworth (BSW) is an imperial-unit-based screw thread standard, devised and specified by Joseph Whitworth in 1841 and later adopted as a British Standard. It was the world's first national screw thread standard, and is the basis for many other standards, such as BSF, BSP, BSCon, and BSCopper.

Vise Device to secure an object to be worked on

A vise or vice is a mechanical apparatus used to secure an object to allow work to be performed on it. Vises have two parallel jaws, one fixed and the other movable, threaded in and out by a screw and lever.

Metal lathe

A metal lathe or metalworking lathe is a large class of lathes designed for precisely machining relatively hard materials. They were originally designed to machine metals; however, with the advent of plastics and other materials, and with their inherent versatility, they are used in a wide range of applications, and a broad range of materials. In machining jargon, where the larger context is already understood, they are usually simply called lathes, or else referred to by more-specific subtype names. These rigid machine tools remove material from a rotating workpiece via the movements of various cutting tools, such as tool bits and drill bits.


A leadscrew, also known as a power screw or translation screw, is a screw used as a linkage in a machine, to translate turning motion into linear motion. Because of the large area of sliding contact between their male and female members, screw threads have larger frictional energy losses compared to other linkages. They are not typically used to carry high power, but more for intermittent use in low power actuator and positioner mechanisms. Leadscrews are commonly used in linear actuators, machine slides, vises, presses, and jacks. Leadscrews are a common component in electric linear actuators.

Trapezoidal thread form Screw thread profiles with trapezoidal outlines

Trapezoidal thread forms are screw thread profiles with trapezoidal outlines. They are the most common forms used for leadscrews. They offer high strength and ease of manufacture. They are typically found where large loads are required, as in a vise or the leadscrew of a lathe. Standardized variations include multiple-start threads, left-hand threads, and self-centering threads.

Ball screw Low friction linear actuator

A ball screw is a mechanical linear actuator that translates rotational motion to linear motion with little friction. A threaded shaft provides a helical raceway for ball bearings which act as a precision screw. As well as being able to apply or withstand high thrust loads, they can do so with minimum internal friction. They are made to close tolerances and are therefore suitable for use in situations in which high precision is necessary. The ball assembly acts as the nut while the threaded shaft is the screw. In contrast to conventional leadscrews, ballscrews tend to be rather bulky, due to the need to have a mechanism to re-circulate the balls.

Screw (simple machine)

A screw is a mechanism that converts rotational motion to linear motion, and a torque to a linear force. It is one of the six classical simple machines. The most common form consists of a cylindrical shaft with helical grooves or ridges called threads around the outside. The screw passes through a hole in another object or medium, with threads on the inside of the hole that mesh with the screw's threads. When the shaft of the screw is rotated relative to the stationary threads, the screw moves along its axis relative to the medium surrounding it; for example rotating a wood screw forces it into wood. In screw mechanisms, either the screw shaft can rotate through a threaded hole in a stationary object, or a threaded collar such as a nut can rotate around a stationary screw shaft. Geometrically, a screw can be viewed as a narrow inclined plane wrapped around a cylinder.

The ISO metric screw thread is the most commonly used type of general-purpose screw thread worldwide. They were one of the first international standards agreed when the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was set up in 1947.

A split nut is a nut that is split lengthwise into two pieces so that its female thread may be opened and closed over the male thread of a bolt or leadscrew. This allows the nut, when open, to move along the screw without the screw turning. Then, when the nut is closed, it resumes the normal movement of a nut on a screw

Backlash (engineering) clearance between mating components

In mechanical engineering, backlash, sometimes called lash or play, is a clearance or lost motion in a mechanism caused by gaps between the parts. It can be defined as "the maximum distance or angle through which any part of a mechanical system may be moved in one direction without applying appreciable force or motion to the next part in mechanical sequence."p. 1-8 An example, in the context of gears and gear trains, is the amount of clearance between mated gear teeth. It can be seen when the direction of movement is reversed and the slack or lost motion is taken up before the reversal of motion is complete. It can be heard from the railway couplings when a train reverses direction. Another example is in a valve train with mechanical tappets, where a certain range of lash is necessary for the valves to work properly.

Helix angle

In mechanical engineering, a helix angle is the angle between any helix and an axial line on its right, circular cylinder or cone. Common applications are screws, helical gears, and worm gears.

Screw Type of fastener characterized by a thread wrapped around a cylinder core

A screw and a bolt are similar types of fastener typically made of metal, and characterized by a helical ridge, known as a male thread. Screws and bolts are used to fasten materials by the engagement of the screw thread with a similar female thread in the matching part.

Thread angle

The thread angle of a screw is the included angle between the thread flanks, measured in a plane containing the thread axis. This is a defining factor for the shape of a screw thread. Standard values include:

Square thread form

The square thread form is a common screw thread form, used in high load applications such as leadscrews and jackscrews. It gets its name from the square cross-section of the thread. It is the lowest friction and most efficient thread form, but it is difficult to fabricate.

Threading is the process of creating a screw thread. More screw threads are produced each year than any other machine element. There are many methods of generating threads, including subtractive methods ; deformative or transformative methods ; additive methods ; or combinations thereof.

Roller screw

A roller screw, also known as a planetary roller screw or satellite roller screw, is a low-friction precision screw-type actuator, a mechanical device for converting rotational motion to linear motion, or vice versa. Planetary roller screws are used as the actuating mechanism in many electro-mechanical linear actuators. Due to its complexity the roller screw is a relatively expensive actuator, but may be suitable for high-precision, high-speed, heavy-load, long-life and heavy-use applications.


  1. CN101571035B - Sawtooth thread of drill pipe joint - Google Patents
  2. Saw Tooth Thread Gauges | Metric Buttress Thread Gauges | Tru Thread
  3. 1 2 French, Thomas Ewing (1918-01-01). A Manual of Engineering Drawing for Students and Draftsmen. McGraw-Hill book Company, Incorporated.
  4. Elements of Oil and Gas Well Tubular Design by P.D. Pattillo, p. 255
  5. Barnwell, p. 163.
  6. USpatent 5127784,David Eslinger,"Fatigue-resistant buttress thread",issued 1992-07-07
  7. 1 2 Bhandari, p. 204.
  8. 1 2 3 Oberg, p.1817
  9. Oberg, pp. 1819–1820.
  10. Timings, p. 127.
  11. USpatent 6893057,M. Edward Evans,"Threaded pipe connection",issued 2005-05-17 Figure 6.
  12. Oil field glossary entry for buttress thread