Air bearing guides
Granite Air bearings offer numerous advantages over mechanical bearings such as profiled linear guides and crossed roller slides. But they are still considered by many designers and engineers to be a high-cost solution, primarily for niche applications that require extreme precision. However, their benefits include more than just high precision, and cost is being driven down by an increase in the number of manufacturers and advances in materials and manufacturing for the precision bearing surfaces.
To demonstrate how air bearings are becoming more common in industrial equipment and processes, here are some of the benefits they provide and the applications they serve.
Benefit: No change in performance characteristics over time
Friction is highly non-linear, and reducing or eliminating it means that settling times are shorter, as there is no need to wait for the (relatively) slow servo loop to overcome the effects of friction. This also means that the primary variables in performance become the servo bandwidth, payload, and machine resonances, making performance very stable and predictable over time.
Applications: Semiconductor manufacturing; cmm machine, laser machine equipment located in remote or difficult-to-access locations.
Benefit: Virtually unlimited service lifeLoad, speed, acceleration, and other application parameters do not affect the life of an air bearing. In fact, the primary factor is wear due to contaminated air, which can cause corrosion. For an air bearing stage driven by a voice coil or linear motor, the cables and cable management – which are, in most cases, easily replaced – become the limiting factor for wear and life.
We can finish your products within 20 days.