Air Bearing Actuator Enables Extreme Low Force Sensitivity

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.

“The Airpel -AB air bearing actuator is designed to fill a niche in the air cylinder industry where even the slightest friction, contamination, wear, or extreme temperature vulnerability of typical air cylinders cannot be tolerated.” said Mark Gaberman, President of Airpot Corporation.

Industries include, semi-conductor, optics, medical, and test and measurement. Applications may include, counterbalancing and safety support for vertically positioned linear motor driven masses, precise tensioning, positioning mechanisms supporting delicate materials, sensitive force control for holding or clamping fragile materials, or precise laboratory test equipment.

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.

Airpot Corporation manufactures instrument quality, precision Air Dashpots, Snubbers, Pneumatic Actuators, Airpel Anti-Stiction Air Cylinders and -AB Air Bearing Actuators. Airpot welcomes custom requirements and works with customers to adapt products to suit their individual application needs. Value added subassembly services are also a specialty. Airpot Corporation is a trusted supplier to many of the world’s most prestigious original equipment manufacturers. Visitwww.airpot.com for detailed specifications. Call or email our technical staff for application assistance and ordering information.service@airpot.com 203-846-2021, 800-848-7681.

Key Markets:

Semiconductor processing, Electronics assembly, Medical Devices, Metrology, Test & Measurement, Laboratory Diagnostics.

Key Applications:

Filament & wire tensioning, positioning  and manipulating optics, liquids, delicate devices, super sensitive force control, counterbalancing and safety for vertically positioned linear driven motor masses, Measuring weight, creep, tensile strength and calibration

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