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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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.