Super-sensitive grinding and polishing operations with forces controlled to as little as 0.001 pounds or 0.45 grams are now possible and being utilized in industry by customers of Airpot’s Airpel — AB Air Bearing actuators. Many manufacturers with the need for extremely tight control of small incremental movements along with low forces and speeds are discovering the benefits of air bearing technology used to provide zero friction actuation. Electronic components, semi-conductor processing, metrology and tensioning product manufacturers are now able to achieve levels of measurement and control previously unattainable with conventional air cylinders. The actuators combine air cylinder-like linear actuation with zero friction air bearing technology.
The Airpel -AB provides “Force Without Friction” which is made possible by a specially shaped stainless steel piston that is precisely fitted to a borosilicate glass cylinder. The introduction of pressurized air into the air bearing’s cylinder creates a true air bearing airflow effect around the piston.
With as little as 5 PSI of air applied to the cylinder, the same air that drives the piston also produces a stiff cushion of air to support the piston and prevent it from contacting the cylinder wall. The result is an air cylinder that delivers virtually unlimited piston life, no lubrication and clean operation. In addition, the output force of this friction-free air cylinder is reduced only infinitesimally by movement of ultra-low friction ball joints used to connect the rod. These unique qualities allow Airpot Corporation to guarantee that the Airpel -AB will exceed the life of any machine or instrument in which it is originally installed.
Airpel-AB air bearing actuators are available in metric models with four bore diameters and ten standard strokes to provide precisely repeatable driving or supporting forces from 2 grams to 58 kg. Operating temperatures range from -20 C to +90 C.
Filed Under: Actuators, Motion control • motor controls