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While designing machines, often it needs to provide supports for the rotating shafts either separately or inbuilt in the parts of the machine itself. Such a support, called bearing, not only serves as support to the rotating shaft but also facilitate its smooth running as well. Almost all kinds of machineries have bearings, a few commonly found examples which invariably have bearings are, crankshafts of engines, axle of automobiles, spindles of machine tools such as, lathe, drilling, milling and grinding machines, shafting in workshops, etc.
Bearing technology represents one of the old problems for mechanical engineers. Rolling element bearings developed in the last century were a revolutionary improvement over the plain bearings that had been pushed to their limits in applications like electric motors and automobile wheels. Similarly, rolling element bearings are today being pushed to their technical limits by the demands of applications like semiconductor manufacturing, high resolution scanning, and high-speed machinery.
Air bearings represent the next logical step in bearing design. Air bearings in general have a proven track record having been employed in coordinate measuring machines for 20 years. The many technical advantages of air bearings such as near zero friction and wear, high speed and high precision capabilities, and no oil lubrication requirements are powerful advantages for today’s machine designers. However, these benefits have not been more fully utilized to date because air bearings are difficult to manufacture and they have not been commercially available until recently.
- An air bearing is a non-contacting system where a gas film (typically air) acts as the lubricant that separates the two surfaces in relative motion.
- Air bearing technology offers real advantages to applications where the demand for accuracy, speed and reliability is crucial.
- 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.
There are basically two types of air bearing:
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF AIR BEARINGS
- Greater Precision
- High Speed
- Increased Tool Life
- Improved Surface Finish
- Long Bearing Life
- Low Thermal Growth
- Lack of Maintenance
- Large Load Capacity
- Reduced Vibration
- High geometry accuracy during manufacturing.
- High cost.
- Need to have a clean working environment.
APPLICATIONS OF AIR BEARING
- Lifting weights
- Machines for the Image Setting Industry
- Coordinate Measuring Machines
- Testing Equipment
- High Speed Equipment
- Ultra accurate machine tools
- Linear Stages
DOWNLOAD AIR BEARING SEMINAR REPORT AND PPT
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