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Laboratory Instrumentation


Air Bearings for Laboratory Instrumentation

Whether governmental, academic or privately owned, precision and repeatability in scientific laboratories is of the utmost importance. At New Way we understand this need for uncompromising performance. That’s why we are dedicated to utilizing our non-contact motion technology to push the boundaries of your field of research.

When Precision Counts

A man stands over a visible laser beam in a laboratory settingFrom wind tunnel testing to satellite simulations, Porous Media Technology™ brings a unique combination of zero-friction motion and zero-hysteresis positioning to the table, increasing the boundaries of what’s possible. Here are two examples of how air bearings can be used to provide unparalleled accuracy:

Wind Tunnel Force Balances

Air bearings can be used to build force balances and stings for mounting models in a wind tunnel. Our wide variety of products and ability to create custom parts allows for the collection of force measurement data along any axis you need. The near-zero frictional coefficient allows for highly accurate collection of vital data even at low speeds, where contact bearings might produce resistance to motion.

Satellite Testing and Zero Gravity Simulation

Air bearings float over their guide surface on a micrometer thin air cushion, providing a uniquely effective platform for zero gravity test stages. This is highly useful both for testing satellite thrusters and the development of their automated control laws.


Linear Motion

Air bearings are ideal for linear motion, with such products like our flat rectangular and flat round air bearings having a variety of test applications. Additionally, air bearings can be stacked to form gantry stages for 2D and 3D motion using our linear slides.

Rotary Motion

For rotary measurement applications, we offer such products as our Air Spindles and Air Bushings. Our Servo Driven Rotary Stage combines our air spindle with a brushless, spotless motor and rotary encoder capable of 1.1 arcsecond precision to provide an all-in-one measurement solution.


Hysteresis Free Motion

Air bearings are unique in that they have no dynamic components and thus no internal inertia to cause positioning overshoot. This positioning accuracy and straightness of motion has been demonstrated by studies conducted at MIT, with air bearings producing a straightness 10 times that of contact bearing competitors. This accuracy has been put to use by numerous clients, from the world’s most product observatory to the world’s most accurate 3D Coordinate Measuring Machine.

Common Components

Upgrading laboratory components can be a pain, especially when hardware is not cross-compatible. New Way components all use the same common core system of air compressors and filters. This means you won’t be stuck needing new parts for new bearings if you decide to upgrade or expand a system.

Custom Engineered and Retrofit Ready

A common question we get is about the difficulty of upgrading to air bearings from a contact bearing system. We’re proud to say that oftentimes it can be seamless. New Way has decades of experience in producing drop-in ready bearings to retrofit coordinate measuring and stereolithography stepper machines. Many simple stages can simply be replaced 1:1 with an air bearing system.

Even if your application is more complex, you have nothing to worry about. We have an in-house design team ready to get to work on custom products designed specifically for your application and needs.

Contact Us

If you’d like to learn more about what air bearings can offer your laboratory setup, or already have an application in mind, please contact us!

Linear Motion Bearings
precision machine tool
Linear Motion Bearings

For unparalleled straightness of motion over metal or stone guideways.

Rotor Balancing
rotor balancing
Rotor Balancing

Air Bearings provide a precise axis of rotation for rotor balancing operations.

Custom Products
custom products
Custom Products

Flat Rectangular Air Bearings
rectangle bearings
Flat Rectangular Air Bearings

Flat Round Air Bearings
round bearings
Flat Round Air Bearings

Linear Slides
linear slides
Linear Slides

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