Air Bearings

Air Bearings

What is Air bearing?

Air bearings utilize a thin film of pressurized air to provide a ‘zero friction’ load bearing interface between surfaces.

What are the advantages of air bearing?

Being contactless, air bearings avoid the traditional bearing-related problems of friction, wear, and lubricant handling, and offer distinct advantages in precision positioning and high speed applications.

Type                        Item no./ SPEC       MA              MB           A / mm         T/ mm      Flatness / mm

4 Tapping Holes     AB-AIR-50-01         P-15           AL T651          50                    15               0.003

4 Tapping Holes     AB-AIR-60-01        B-2000       AL T651          60                    15              0.004

4 Tapping Holes     AB-AIR-70-01         B-2000       AL7075          70                    15              0.004 


Usages of Air Bearings 

Because of their advantages over rolling element bearings, air bearings are a natural choice for applications such as Coordinate Measuring Machines, precision machine tools, semiconductor wafer processing machines, and other clean room, high speed, and precision positioning environments.

How to overcome the disadvantages?

There are inherent disadvantages in many aspects, namely the need for a pressure source and a vent slot; but they can be manufactured with loose manufacturing tolerances and can provide support at low speeds and withstand intermittent or fixed loads. On the other hand, self-acting bearings (aerodynamics) can only support a few pounds per square inch of bearing area, depending on speed, require careful fabrication and calibration, and are only suitable for bearings where the surface is always moving under load. However, this bearing does not require auxiliary equipment and there are no problems with venting exhaust gas or arranging for proper working chamber pressure control. However, pressurized gases of the externally pressurized type can offer special advantages in certain situations. For example, a pressure feed bearing can operate in a dusty environment because the expelled air prevents the entry of solid particles from the environment.