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What Is an Air Bearing?

November 15th, 2023 by David Casillo.
Air bearings are fluid bearings that use a thin film of pressurized gas to provide a low friction load-bearing interface between surfaces. The two surfaces do not touch, thus avoiding the traditional bearing-related problems of friction, wear, particulates, and lubricant handling, and offer distinct advantages in precision positioning, such as lacking backlash and static friction, as well as in high-speed applications.
Our air bushings are designed to make air bearings available for use with pre-existing designs based on round shaft guides. These components run on standard precision steel shafting and are available in Metric or English sizes. We also provide an option to use Titanium and other special material to maximize stiffness and load capacity.
Our round design frictionless motion, flat round air bearings work on flat, nonporous surfaces such as granite, aluminum, glass, and ceramics. We offer a variety of sizes which can easily be used to customize air bearing systems. Vacuum preloaded air bearings are a combination of air pressure and vacuum, where the air bearings hold it down and simultaneously lift from the surface.
Profile rail guides consists of the next generation air bearings and are manufactured from aircraft quality lightweight linear guides. Our Box Series, T-Series, U-series and Dovetail Series air bearing slides are offered in a wide range of styles, sizes and unique features produced for easy retrofitting into existing applications or designing into new applications.
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