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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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.
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.