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New Way® Air Bushings: Air Bearings Offering Friction-Free Shaft Motion


Air bearings represent a technological advancement for machine designers over contacting ball bearings by maintaining a friction-free load bearing interface between surfaces without the need for lubrication. Utilizing New Way® Porous Media™ technology, air bearings maintain a thin film of pressurized air between surfaces to eliminate friction in motion control applications.

Air bushings are the most basic air bearings that support a shaft in reducing friction in motion.

The least expensive of the New Way air bearing product family that includes air bearing slides, radial bearings, vacuum preloaded bearings, and flat bearings, air bushings present a cost-effective opportunity to utilize the advantages of air bearing technology. Some of these include:

  • Zero friction and wear
  • Straighter motion
  • Silent and smooth operation
  • High speeds

Simple and compact in design with just one part which defines the difference between an air bushing and an air bearing assembly, air bushings are typically used in machinery with rotating or sliding shafts. New Way builds its air bushings to fit many shaft sizes and as replacements to existing rolling element bushings to provide the advantages of Frictionless Motion®️. Available in both metric and US versions, air bushing designs support both linear and rotary applications. Below is an outline of operating characteristics for air bushings.


The least expensive air bearing system, only three bushings are required to constrain a stage to a single axis of motion.


O-rings provide self-alignment. Mounting components are easily sourced from New Way.


Bushing stages are used where smoothness, speed, or low friction are required. Shaft mounted stages can achieve high accuracies, especially when strokes are limited to less than 6”.

Load Capacity

When ganged together, air bushings can increase load capacity.


With air bushing guides on end support shafts, bending of the shaft is the limiting factor in system stiffness. “O” ring mounting also limits stiffness but can be overcome by epoxying the bushings in place.

New Way offers a variety of air bushings in metric sizes from 13 mm to 75 mm and U.S. sizes from .25 to 1 inch in diameter. In addition to standard units, New Way manufactures custom bushings and mountings.

To review the New Way Air Bushing product line, visit the website at https://www.newwayairbearings.com/catalog/air-bushings-english/ for English versions and https://www.newwayairbearings.com/catalog/air-bushings-metric/ for metric versions.

To request an Air Bushing catalog, contact us at https://www.newwayairbearings.com/support/contact-information/request-information/

Learn More About the Porous Media Difference