New Way Air Bearings® offers air turns, an alternative to traditional contact rollers which utilizes New Way’s Porous Media Technology™. For industries which 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 metal rollers is used to maintain flatness in your material. By applying New Way’s carbon surface technology which pushes air through micro perforated holes in order to create a film of air, your material may travel up to 180° without ever contacting a roller. The air turns system can also be combined with New Way’s Radial 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.
Metal rollers systems commonly induce defects and manufacturing flaws into 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 a double benefit to the problem of roller induced defects. Firstly, the complete lack of frictional contact between the material and the roller eliminates the possibility for contact induced imperfections. Secondly, the viscous shear inherent to the air film acts to scrub the material surface, and can also function to dry materials of residual moisture.
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 contact rollers, and allows 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 the processing of flexible films, 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.
In any industry where flexible material 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 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.
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!
Air Turns are 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 Air Turn.
|SKU||Wrap Angle||Max. Tension||Viable Pressure Range||Max. Allowable Pressure||Input-Pressure||Resolution|
|S38150XXX-***S38150XXX-***||110, 220, or 360 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU)110, 220, or 360 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 360 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU)110, 220, or 360 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 360 degrees (sub in for *** in the SKU)110, 220, or 360 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|
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:
Our technicians are available now to discuss how our porous media technology can enhance your process. Tell us more about your application today.