Air Turns™

 

Air Turns™

New Way Air Bearings® offers Air Turns™, an alternative to traditional contact rollers which utilize New Way’s Porous Media Technology™. For industries that require the conveyance of thin, flexible materials in roll-to-roll processes, the Air Turn is an exciting new development and one which any company should consider.

A traditional system for moving flexible substrates involves a contact conveyor system, where direct tension between turn bars is used to maintain flatness in your material. New Way’s carbon-surface technology pushes air through millions of micron-scale holes, creating a stiff pillow of air. This allows a material to turn up to 180° without ever contacting a roller.

The Air Turns system can also be combined with New Way’s Radial Air Bearings to further drive material, allowing for variation in fly height, web tension, and the ability to steer the material and even reverse direction if needed. Air turns can be combined with New Way Air Bars or Spherical Air Bearings to create complex and precise conveyance systems.

Air Films Reduce Defects

Roll-to-roll systems with conventional contact rollers commonly induce defects and manufacturing flaws in the materials they’re handling. Any surface defect on the rollers themselves can, in turn, create a corresponding flaw on the product being transported—costing you time and money to correct the imperfection.

Air Turns offer multiple solutions to the problem of roller-induced defects. First, the complete lack of frictional contact between the material and the roller eliminates the possibility of contact-induced imperfections. Second, the stiff pillow of air protects the material from contaminants on the roller. Finally, the viscous shear inherent to the air film acts to scrub the material surface, and can also function to dry materials of residual moisture. This can be especially useful in R2R converting applications for electronics industries.

Flatness Control Through Variable Web Tension

Air Turns don’t just remove the possibility for roller-induced defects, but also support material quality control. By varying the air pressure being supplied to the Air Turn, and making adjustments to the air bearings which drive the material across the rollers, fly height and web tension can be adjusted on the fly to account for changes in material flatness.

The tunable nature of an air surface cannot be replicated by traditional contact turn bars. New Way’s Air Turns allow for web height variations <5µm/55mm in the web travel direction, and <15µm/200mm in the transverse direction. In other words, the Air Turn provides flatness of 75nm/mm, befitting any industry which demands precision in every aspect of its manufacturing process. In roll-to-roll processing, this prevents wrinkles from forming while the material is transported at high speeds.

Of course, not all materials and processes are the same and New Way understands this. The adjustable nature of air bearings allows for a wide range of air height thicknesses, ranging between 100 and 600µm, and web tension up to 200N. No matter your roll-to-roll process or materials involved, New Way’s Air Turns are up to the task.

Non-Contact Measurement

Click to view full IBS report (shown on right) In any industry where flexible materials are manufactured to a precise standard, the measurement of flatness and defects is paramount. Because Air Turns convey material on an adjustable film of air, this opens the door to the use of nanoscale interferometry techniques in order to measure flatness and web stability in real-time, as well as being able to adjust your Air Turns system accordingly.Independent testing via IBS Precision Engineering utilized ARINNA (areal interferometry for nanoscale surfaces) to conduct a test of web stabilization in a polyethylene terephthalate film (PET) coated substrate—both with and without—an air table. Without an air table and traveling at 5m/min, the web height varied by upwards of 100µm, whereas the air table produced a maximum variation of only 6µm.Interferometry measurements like these are only possible when an air gap or similar environs exists on both sides of the material, and thus, the Air Turn provides you with the unique capability to measure nanoscale defects throughout the manufacturing process rather than after the fact. To learn more, download our roll-to-roll processing eBook here.

New High-Temperature (HT) Air Turns

In late 2019, New Way developed Higher Temperature Air Turns. These high- temp air turns are an evolution of our standard Air Turns. Search (-HT) at the end of our standard Air Turn part numbers to increase the temperature rating up to 400 Degrees F. To see how these work in a real-world R2R application, check out the success that our customer Multi-Plastics Inc. has experienced!Air Turns come in numerous sizes, diameters, and can also be customized to fit your exact needs. Please reach out to New Way Air Bearings today to see how our Air Turn technology can benefit your company.

Applications

New Way’s Air Turns will enhance any process where to roll-to-roll transport of flexible substrates is required. See if the following examples match your use and if New Way can benefit you:

Flexible Web Handling
  • Metal sheeting
  • Plastic films
  • Electronics substrates
  • Large-area flexible displays
Non-Contact Measurement
  • Eliminates defects found with traditional rollers
  • Vastly reduces maintenance requirements and downtime
  • Real-time flatness and stability measurements
  • Micro-precision tension control
Customizable for Any Application
  • Diameter and wrap angle build to specification
  • Models for high-temperature operating conditions
  • Compatible with other New Way products for advanced solutions

Air Turns™ Product Line

The new Air Turns configuration displays New Way’s dedication to maximizing the power of systems in all precision industries. This new addition to the New Way line provides all the flexible-material-handling capacity of traditional rollers, with none of the drawbacks. It is available in a variety of sizes and configurations, and able to be installed via supports at both ends, or a central shaft supported at—one or both ends—of the component.


38S25-25438S25-254 - Standard Journal End Mount
38S25-25438S25-254 - Standard Journal End Mount

S38150XXX-***S38150XXX-*** - Air Turn 150mm OD
S38150XXX-***S38150XXX-*** - Air Turn 150mm OD

S38125XXX-***S38125XXX-*** - Air Turn 125mm OD
S38125XXX-***S38125XXX-*** - Air Turn 125mm OD

S38100XXX-***S38100XXX-*** - Air Turn 100mm OD
S38100XXX-***S38100XXX-*** - Air Turn 100mm OD

S38075XXX-***S38075XXX-*** - Air Turn 75mm OD
S38075XXX-***S38075XXX-*** - Air Turn 75mm OD

Air Turn - Custom
Air Turn - Custom

Units: US METRIC

Comparision Table

SKU Wrap Angle Max. Tension Viable Pressure Range Max. Allowable Pressure Input-Pressure Resolution
38S25-25438S25-254
S38150XXX-***S38150XXX-***
110, 220, or 330 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU)110, 220, or 330 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU) Surface Area x ½ input pressureSurface Area x ½ input pressure 20-100 psi138-689 kPa 100 psi689 kPa 30 psi207 kPa InfiniteInfinite
S38125XXX-***S38125XXX-***
110, 220, or 330 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU)110, 220, or 330 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU) Surface Area x ½ input pressureSurface Area x ½ input pressure 20-100 psi138-689 kPa 100 psi689 kPa 30 psi207 kPa InfiniteInfinite
S38100XXX-***S38100XXX-***
110, 220, or 330 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU)110, 220, or 330 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU) Surface Area x ½ input pressureSurface Area x ½ input pressure 20-100 psi138-689 kPa 100 psi689 kPa 30 psi207 kPa InfiniteInfinite
S38075XXX-***S38075XXX-***
110, 220, or 330 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU)110, 220, or 330 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU) Surface Area x ½ input pressureSurface Area x ½ input pressure 20-100 psi138-689 kPa 100 psi689 kPa 30 psi207 kPa InfiniteInfinite


CUSTOMER PROVEN SOLUTIONS

Multi-Plastics Turn Production Around with New Way Air Turns™

Multi-Plastics Turn Production Around with New Way Air Turns™

Multi-Plastics, Inc. provides almost 60% of the world’s polystyrene window film. So, when they saw the opportunity to improve production and cut downtime on their 24×7 production lines, they didn’t hesitate. Multi-Plastics integrated New Way Air Turns for their roll-to-roll processes, removing defects, creating uniform, tunable tension, and allowing for additional cooling.

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