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5 Industries Air Bearings are Set to Disrupt

5 Industries Air Bearings are Set to Disrupt

How Air Bearings Are Set to Revolutionize Your Industry

Here at New Way Air Bearings®, we’re always looking to expand the opportunities for our products to benefit new industries. Today we’d like to discuss the new horizons for our Frictionless Motion™ technology. From the stringent tolerances of aerospace production to rapid prototyping through additive manufacturing, non-contact Porous Media™ paves the way for a new generation of industries to change the way they perceive motion.

Marine Bearings

The marine market is responsible for transporting 70% of our trade weight and 18% of our GDP, so it’s understandable that they always seek out the latest technologies for resilience and longevity. Contact bearings—even ones developed for humid or submerged environments— eventually degrade, rust and spall. Meanwhile, our air bearings can operate submerged or against a wetted surface with no effect to their operation.

 Closeup of a marine propeller

Properly balancing propellers is an essential component for smooth operation and vibration reduction. Traditional dynamic balancing systems are held back by the internal inertia of rolling bearings, which can affect the rotational axis of the balancing rig. Compare this to our specially designed balance bearings. Their self centering, motion average operation provides a cleaner signal for balancing.

Agricultural Bearings

Agricultural production runs around the clock, rain or sunshine, and so the industry’s need for weatherproof motion technology is almost unmatched. For tractors, tillers, and harvesters, or for silo unloaders and grain elevators, our range of rotary motion products offer high-speed motion without the concern of wear and tear. Because our bearings run on a micro thin film of air, there is no lubricant outgassing to be concerned with, and thus no ejection of unsafe particulates into a food-safe environment

Bulk Powder Handling System Bearings

Bulk powder handling encompasses a wide array of individual applications, from mining and biomass energy to food and beverage production. Among all of these industries, a need for particle resistant motion is key, and our air bearings offer this unique capability. Through their positive pressure operations, air bearings are naturally self cleaning. For more stringent environments with airborne particulate matter, we offer products like the New-Seal ® , a bearing and seal in one which resists particle and fluid infiltration up to 35 PSI.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing pill sorting machine

Given the nature of their work, the pharmaceutical industry often runs their production lines under cleanroom conditions. As a natural function of the porous graphite substrate, all of our air bearings are cleanroom compliant, meeting ISO Class 1 cleanliness requirements per our internal testing.

Aerospace Bearings

The aerospace industry represents the pinnacle in precision design, manufacturing, and tolerancing, and our air bearings are integral to the continued pursuit of this goal. For quality assurance and dimensional checking, our air bearings were originally developed for Checkmate Coordinate Measuring machines (now owned by Hexagon).

Air bearings provide hysteresis-free motion and near-limitless positioning precision, which makes them the perfect fit for ensuring you’ve met your tolerances. On the production side, in-house fiber laying and additively manufactured components are becoming the standard for end-use-ready items. In fact, aerospace manufacturer Boeing expects to save 3 million dollars per aircraft on AM parts.

Further beyond the atmosphere, air bearing’s frictionless motion enables on-the-ground testing for satellites, allowing them to simulate zero gravity motion along a 2D plane. This is incredibly valuable for testing satellite positioning thrusters, and the development of their automated control laws.

Additive Manufacturing Bearings

Additive manufacturing is truly the production technique of the future. Whether you’re printing in polymers, synthetic fiber, or metal, air bearings bring their nanoscale motion to benefit this process. With their 10 fold increase in speed and nanoscale accuracy over previous methods, our products can help bring resolution down below the already stringent +/- 0.01mm of selective laser sintering (SLS).

Laser sintered metal part from additive 3d printing process

Emerging technologies like high-speed sintering combine the best of SLS and binder jetting, and demonstrate capability to increase speeds by 10-100 times. Combine this with air bearings and you get a sustainably fast additive platform.

Additive manufacturing is not just being applied for rapid prototyping, but also large scale projects like printing entire houses and ship hulls. Large-scale straightness of motion is essential to such endeavors, and products like our air bars can be built as long as you require them to be.

Contact Us

Want to learn more about how our porous media air bearings are positioned to revolutionize your industry, or do you already have an application in mind? Contact us to learn more!

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