New Way® Air Bearings’ Porous Media Technology™ provides diverse and versatile solutions for rotary motion applications. There are many ways to create frictionless rotary motion with New Way products, such as air bushings, air spindles, and four different styles of radial air bearings: concave width, concave length, convex width, and convex length.
New Way’s air bearings are made using a naturally porous carbon substrate.The millions of submicron passageways inherent to the material diffuse the air flow uniformly across the entire bearing surface. In the event of catastrophic air loss, pressure in the gap will not abruptly decrease meaning the rotating artifact gradually stops, preventing potential damage and ensuring safe operation in patient environments. Since graphite is naturally soft and durable, the air bearings are still functional after momentary sliding contact or minor scratches, and can be re-used immediately once air is restored. For critical operations, an independent air source can be configured for use in primary air loss situations.
The stiff gaps mean components are never in contact, resulting in truly frictionless motion—without the need for lubricants. This equates to savings in the energy required to turn an artifact and decreased latent heat build up.
Radial air bearings provide non-contact support for rotating, round artifacts using a thin (5µm) layer of air. The gaps are amazingly stiff, creating stable support for a ring, or bearing surface, while allowing for surface speeds of up to 100 meters-per-second.
New Way Radial Air Bearings can be configured to ride on the outer diameter or inner diameter of a rotating artifact for a given application, using concave and convex shapes specifically machined to the tight tolerances necessary to create non-contact motion.
The non-contact nature of these radial air bearings necessitate axial constraint for the rotating body as well. This can be accomplished with standard rolling element bearings, but using off the shelf New Way flat rectangular or round air bearing components will create a fully-independent artifact rotating in space—providing complete isolation from vibration and environmental effects.
New Way’s radial air bearings give you high stiffness, repeatability, and fast vibration damping which are perfect for precision analysis applications. Without the heat build-up and vibration, far greater scanning resolution can be achieved than was previously attainable with roller bearings.
New Way air bushings are a tube of porous media which creates a layer of air between the air bushing and a shaft. The bushing is designed so that a self-centering force is created by the air flow, allowing for precise, non-contact motion on round shafting.
The resulting frictionless motion eliminates the heat and vibration commonly associated with roller contact or recirculating ball linear way arrangements. The self-centering force also allows for higher than standard rotational speeds in spindle-type applications with all the benefits mentioned previously.
New Way Air Spindles have a single rotating component by floating the rotor on a stiff cushion of air. This creates sub-micron synchronous errors and the virtual elimination of asynchronous errors that often plague rolling element bearings.
Our Air Spindles can achieve the high speeds necessary for precision cutting and grinding of optical components. They also consume significantly less air than orifice air bearings due to their low airflow requirements.
Air Spindles can be purchased individually, allowing customers to integrate with their own preferred motors and encoders.
If you are looking for a fully integrated precision rotary solution, New Way offers the Servo-Driven Rotary Stages product line. This product integrates an air spindle with a slotless, brushless motor and an encoder offered in standard or high resolution. Offered as a complete package, Servo-Driven Rotary Stages provide a unique combination of precision and a robust design available only through Porous Media Technology™.
If your manufacturing process or application could benefit from one or more of New Way’s rotary motion solutions, reach out to us today for a consultation.