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Bearings • Air Bearings

Air bearings are a type of fluid bearing that utilizes a thin film or pressurized air in place of solid rolling elements to provide low-friction load bearing in which the two internal surfaces do not touch. The result is a bearing that has zero static friction, zero running friction, and high stiffness. To achieve this degree of stiffness, air bearings must be preloaded through the application of weight, vacuum, magnetic attraction, or an opposing air bearing.Due to these characteristics, most air bearings require little or no maintenance and have almost unlimited life, especially when compared to rolling element bearings that have higher viscosity, and thus, higher wear. They are also ideal for precision positioning and high speed applications since their contact-less operation eliminates backlash and static friction.Leading manufacturers: Nelson Air Corp., New Way Air Bearings, Airfloat, ABTech, Airsled, American Solving Inc., Professional Instruments Company

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  • Abtech, Inc.

    ABTech manufactures a variety of precision air bearings and linear products for ultra precision motion applications. Products include manual linear air bearings manufactured from aluminum, steel, granite or ceramic; motorized linear air bearings; motorized mechanical air bearings for applications that do not require air bearing accuracies; and oil hydrostatic linear bearings for diamond turning, grinding and high precision positioning.

  • Aerotech, Inc.

    Aerotech designs and manufactures motion control and positioning systems. Their air bearings are used in semiconductor equipment, fiberoptics, photonics, and other critical industrial automation applications. Aerotech products incorporate an active preload on both vertical and horizontal surfaces.

  • Professional Instruments Co., Inc.

    Professional Instruments manufactures air bearings with frictionless rotary motion and sub-millionth inch precision in plain or motorized configurations. Air bearing products include spindles, slides, rotary unions, and pads. Completely stable at speeds from zero to 50,000 rpm and loads up to 15,000 pounds.

  • Air Bearing Technology, Inc.

    ABT is a full service manufacturer of air bearings, including spindles, disk and wafer chucks, slides, motion controllers and support equipment utilizing a unique spherical spindle design.

  • Dover

    Dover offers the Airglide linear table and the FiberBeam positioner table. The Airglide features 150 - 1,000 mm travel, < ± 1 μm accuracy, < ± 0.3 μm repeatability, and < ± 0.5 μm straightness. The FiberBeam offers 20 - 100 mm travel, < ± 1 μm accuracy, < ± 0.1 μm repeatability, and < ± 0.2 μm straightness.

  • Alio Industries, Inc.

    Alio Industries manufactures several air bearing systems for linear, rotary and their own X-Y Planar System. These products utilize dovetail and custom designs to exceed nano precision applications, and are available with ceramic servo motors or ironless cogless linear servo motors.

  • Cranfield Precision

    Cranfield Precision's miniature air bearing spindle is only 35mm diameter and 103mm long. Features include a linear slide allowing for an axial stroke of several millimeters, and a speed range that makes the spindle suitable for other high speed micro machining applications.

  • Farmington Manufacturing Co.

    Farmington Manufacturing manufactures air bearings rotary tables available in a variety of standard or custom models made to your specs. Features include high load capacity to 500 tons, and options for round, square and rectangular tops.

  • Heason Technology

    Heason Technology offers a variety of air bearing stages. The AirBeam Series is designed for computer-to-plate systems, photoplotters, wafer scanning systems, and factory automation applications. The AirGlide Series is designed for scanning applications with linear motion of ± 200 nanometers at 5 mm/second. The FiberBeam Series is designed for photonic alignment and assembly systems. Their MicroBeam linear motor positioners come in a small package.

  • IBS Precision Engineering

    IBS Precision Engineering offers their New Way air bearings. Porous material used in construction ensures equal air distribution under the bearing. These products exceed orifice designs as far as capacity, rigidity, and air consumption go. Because of zero static friction, infinite resolution and very high repeatability are possible.

  • Isotech Inc

    Isotech's AB air bearings feature borosilicate glass clyinders with a 9.3 mm to 32.5 mm bore, 14.3 mm to 50 mm outside diameter, 3.2 mm to 8.0 mm rod diameter, and 10 to 300 strokes. The piston is specially shaped stainless.

  • Leuven Air Bearings (LAB)

    Leuven develops and produces linear and rotational air bearings for high speed and high precision applications. Miniature designs with 5 mm axial diameter and up to heavy load 1000 mm diameter can be produced.  Products include rotary stages, linear slides, spindles, flat and segmented types, bushings, and custom systems.

  • Loadpoint Bearings Limited

    Loadpoint is a manufacturer of air bearing products for a wide variety of industries. They offer high precision spindles and rotary tables to suit customer requirements. Design specialists can review your specifications for custom designs.

  • Newport Corp.

    Newport offers HybrYX single plane XY hybrid air bearings. The HybrYX stage is suited for semiconductor wafer inspection systems and emerging maskless lithography applications. Features include scanning velocity up to 600mm/sec and 0.6G acceleration, and true single plane XY architecture with optional theta and Z-Tip-Tilt solutions.

  • New Way Air Bearings

    New Way designs and manufactures modular air bearings and integrated porous media solutions for OEM applications. Products include the original flat round porous media air bearing product line, as well as the rectangular configuration that was added to offer an integration alternative.

  • AMETEK Precitech, Inc

    Precitech offers three models of air bearing spindles. The HS-75 features 600,000 lb/in (105 N/µm) axial stiffness. The HD-160 offers 2,000,000 lb/in (350 N/µm) axial stiffness. The SP-150 is designed for 1,314,000 lb/in (230 N/µm) axial stiffness.

  • Space Electronics, LLC

    Space Electronics specializes in the manufacturing of large hemispherical and spherical gas air bearings. These products offer ideal space simulating platforms for testing attitude control systems. Spherical designs feature 0 degree tilt capability. Hemispherical types offer 5 degree tilt capability and 360 degree rotation around the vertical axis.

  • Westwind Air Bearings Ltd

    Westwind designs and manufactures air bearings for PCB manufacturing, automotive coating, semiconductor manufacturing equipment and many other markets. Features include high precision, high integrity design solutions, high rotational speed, consistent performance and long life.

  • Specialty Components, Inc.

    Specialty Components designs and manufactures precision air bearings. Their standard product line includes linear, cylindrical and spherical designs.

  • Nelson Air Corp.

    Nelson offers a variety of slides, stages, tables, spindles, bushings, flat pad, and spherical air bearings.