Bearings make the world go round. Bearings come in a variety of sizes and models. Generally, when I think of a bearing I think of a mechanical bearing, like those in my skateboard when I was younger. The skateboard bearing required weekly or monthly maintenance and eventually wore out because of friction or contamination build up. So what if a frictionless bearing was used? Linear air bearings can provide a zero static movement, thus making them more desirable.
While it can go by other names such as a fluid film bearing, most often it is referred to as the linear air bearing. This type of bearing is a frictionless bearing. It uses a thin film of pressurized air which is able to support a load while at the same time providing free motion in the necessary direction. They are able to provide a major advantage in certain industries because of their ability to provide a thin layer of air between the machine and the bearing. This makes for no contact between the items which will result in no friction, static, wear or heat generation. Further, they will not require lubrication as many of the other models will.
Linear bearings are available in all sorts of different models. Some popular options include needle bearings, rotary bearings, miniature linear bearings, slide bearings and even plastic bearings. While each of these individual products will vary slightly from each other, the over all design of a linear bearing is relatively the same. And they can serve as the perfect part to assist in moving objects along a straight line with the highest levels of precision. So, first what needs to be done is decide if a linear bearing sounds like the right option for the intended application. From there, talking with a trusted manufacturer can help provide the perfect model to make sure the job is done just right.
The linear bearing industry never rests. It seems like everyday new and improved models are coming out that can provide the precision movement that customers want from their linear bearings. They can be used for applications such as drawers, height adjustment mounts, optic alignment, precision dispensing, wafer testing and automated production equipment. Their wide range of uses makes them available in various sizes, materials and other modifications. Custom options are often available by certain manufacturers as well to make sure the product is the perfect match for the future application.
Creating smooth and efficient movement can be incredibly difficult. However, with the use of linear bearings, this process continues to become easier and easier. In rotary situations, these products are used to provide smooth and low friction motion across a straight line. And, because such a wide variety of applications require this type of movement, suppliers have countless versions available in a diverse range of sizes, shapes and other modifications. From roller bearings to needle bearings to pillow block linear bearings and everything in between, the perfect option to provide simple motion is available.
Low friction motion of varying loads that may require high accuracy and repeatability is the perfect job for linear motion bearings. These products are able to provide the perfect motion necessary for a wide array of applications. Not only that, but these products are known for their accuracy, low costs, low maintenance, variety and availability. When it comes to motion bearings, there is a wide range of styles including linear air bearings, linear roller bearings, linear ball, rotary bearings and more. Linear motion bearing manufacturers are able to create a variety of different types and varieties of these bearings to make sure they are able to work with the intended application in the most efficient way possible. Several factors go into choosing the right product such as height, length, rolling element and material choice. Each of these factors can provide different advantages to the application.
While car industry talk has died down in America, a recent report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. stated that the increased demand in countries such as Asia, Latin America and even parts of Europe is starting to be brought about by the turnaround these areas have been experiencing. An area this is also affecting is the bearings market. In addition to this increase, they are also an important part of the robotic automation market, and as technology continues to advance at a quick rate, we can expect the linear bearing need to grow in this aspect of science as well.
My family has raised me on the water. I truly mean this. I am pretty sure I knew how to swim before I could walk, and I learned how to drive a boat well before it was legal for me to attend drivers training. For us, boating and water was the way to live. I remember having college kids on my lake come ask me for tips on slalom skiing when I was in elementary school. (This may be an exaggeration. They might have been in high school only, I just remember being young and the people asking me being very tall.) My point however is, that my family is devoted to all things water or boat. So when it comes to linear bearings, we would have to choose the slide bearing because of its many uses in the marine industry.
Movement oriented mechanisms must be able to accomplish a number of things while moving an object from one point to another, even if this movement is restricted to a few feet or even a few inches, like roller bearings are. The most important characteristic though, is to cause as little friction as possible to build up between the object moving and the moving mechanism, because friction causes heat which causes damage to either or both of the objects in question. That is why the boast of roller bearings, that they cause no friction at all, makes them a very popular moving mechanism in a wide variety of applications.
There are many pieces required to build the massive wind turbines that produce enough energy to be useful in an industrial, agricultural, commercial or residential setting. All of these parts must be large and dependable, to be able to make the impressive renewable energy machine work efficiently without falling apart. As these machines grow in popularity, because they do not harm the earth when creating energy and because they are a much more cost effective solution to the energy problem, the pieces, parts and mechanisms used to make them are growing in popularity too. One such part is a linear bearing.
The type of material chosen for a product of any kind is a big decision, which is a concept that can be applied in industrial, commercial and residential settings. For example, when I am buying a dress for myself, I know not to be metallic looking fabric because I sweat right through it and it is very static-like. Cottons are always the best bet for me. In commercial and industrial settings, choosing product materials is even more important because it is not just an individual’s comfort level that is at stake. When discussing the type of material for a linear bearing, such as plastic versus a variety of metals, much must be taken into consideration.
The motion that linear bearings are utilized for is usually done on a horizontal plane, but sometimes it is necessary on a vertical plane as well, which is why the mountable pillow block linear bearings were created. Although they can also be used on a horizontal plane, their ability to be used vertically is what they are known for. The design is unique from other linear bearing styles because of the additional space around the linear bearing necessary to properly mount it on a wall or machine. Being bolted also means that they have to have holes for bolts or fasteners to securely attach them to whatever surface will be supporting them.
I have always been a big detail girl. When I clean, every inch of the space must be spotless and when I watch a movie, the lighting, couch configuration, popcorn and candy combination must all be just right for the best possible movie watching experience. Attention to details, which means practicing precision, is not only a characteristic of type A oldest children. It is also something that a number of industrial applications demand.
Movement is something that most children and adults take for granted. With no physical restrictions, we are not only able to move our bodies in ways such as walking, running and skipping but we are also immersed in a culture where technologically advanced movement machines are everywhere. The average family in the United States owns two to four cars and many depend on bus systems, bicycles and skateboards as alternative modes of transportation within cities. In addition, airplanes are a thrilling way to travel across larger distances. We have mass produced products to make movement in our lives easier, in these larger, crossing distances ways as well as in small ways, like utilizing linear bearings.
Linear bearings may be measured and therefore pieced together according to two separate measurement systems, one of which is used exclusively in the United States. The US Customary measurement system involves inches, feet and yards, and is still taught in public schools and used as a common form of measurement in many industrial contexts. Alongside these measurements is the metric system, which is the standard in Europe as well as being common here. That is why metric linear bearings in fact make more sense, since they can translate in numerous countries, which is very helpful considering the amount of products that are bought in one country and used in another. If nothing else, it will make the purchase of replacement parts significantly easier.
Some industrial products require specific types of materials more then others, for a variety of reasons. More often then not, stainless steel and aluminum are included in the list of most popular materials, including for the production of linear motion bearings. These diverse metals have so many excellent qualities that they are well suited for many environments, including many that linear bearings must be exposed to. Linear motion bearings are used to ease specific movements within certain structures and machines, such as drawers within desks and dressers, robotic automation and manufacturing machines. Why stainless steel and aluminum are used to create these motion enabling products is explained below.
Linear roller bearings do exactly what it sounds like they do. They “bear” the weight of an object while it “rolls” along the “linear” path set out for it. It is a simple concept that works in a practical way and requires very little maintenance or expense, which is why such a simple concept is still so popular in our technologically advanced society. You don’t mess with something that is cheap as well as working well, even if advances in other areas are being made. Rolling with the linear roller bearings is smart financially and practically, for a number of industries.
Most linear bearings are shaped in the way their name suggests; linearly. However, the needle bearings are circular, shaped like a wide metallic doughnut whose edges are filled with rotating rollers to aid in the movement of whatever they are attached to. They reduce the friction of the rotating components between which they are placed, such as parts of the transmission in an automotive vehicle. This enables all parts involved in the motion process to last longer and run more smoothly, cutting down on maintenance costs for the owner of the vehicle or machine.
When discussing industrial products, most people must imagine large pieces of machinery and equally large metallic structures created by them. The word “industrial” suggest strength and size. However, this is not always the case. Many industrial products, which are used as parts in larger systems, are actually small enough to be considered miniscule. They have become more relevant and prevalent in recent years as the demand for technologically advanced gadgets has increased. One example is miniature linear bearings, which can be as small as a single millimeter. Its size does not affect how significant it can be to the workings of important devices though.
There is always a model within a large industrial category that is able to do what no other model can do. Within the spectrum of linear bearings, the linear rotary bearing is that model. However, just because it can move in ways other linear bearings cannot does not mean it is the most popular. In fact, most industries and individual companies that purchase linear bearings want one-way movement along a single axis with as little friction built-up during the process as possible. This can be achieved with a linear roller bearing or a slide bearing, no special movement requirements necessary.