Air bearing - Set of 4
Why do air bearings not work on poor floor conditions?
The floor over which the load is being moved is a critical part of the air bearing's efficient operation. It stands to reason that any holes or cracks in the floor will result in loss of air pressure and volume. Likewise, large vertical floor projections are a problem. Non-level floors or floors which will deflect under load present interference problems.
Conclusion: An air bearing's effectiveness as well as the amount and pressure of shop air required for its operation depend largely on floor conditions; moreover, how well it is sealed. Before air bearing use, a floor inspection, evaluation, and appropriate remedial repair actions are important.
Learn: What is an air bearing (also called "air caster")?
Using shop air, air pressure is channeled through the pneumatic hoses into the air bearings. Air bearings (also called "pneumatic casters") are designed like a rubber cup laying face down on the floor. The air fills up the cup then spills over the edge creating a continuous air film between the cup and the floor.
As a result the cup is lifted off the ground creating a floating effect. Heavy loads can be placed onto the air bearings and floated across floors.
Learn: How do I need to set up the system?
Use the control console to regulate the airflow to each load module. This centralizes the control for the lift and movement for the entire system.
Connect the shop air to the standard air inlet fitting of the control console. The on/off valve at the air inlet fitting allows for a central shut off. Connect the pneumatic hoses from each of the load modules to the individual air outlets (outfitted with quick connectors) on the control console. Now the individual pressure regulators control the air flow to each load module.
Learn: How do air bearings work?
A pneumatic caster is an assemblage of two primary components: (1) a rubber-fabric inflatable diaphragm called an air bearing attached to a (2) rigid metal platform referred to as a load pad. With the addition of a needle valve for the control of airflow, original manufacturers refer to this assembly as a load module.
Bearing in this context is just another name for a support. An air bearing is simply a pneumatic support device that is pressurized with standard shop air. Air is supplied to the bearing through a hose and actually flows through and constantly escapes from the bearing. The design of the air bearing is such that this continual flow of pressurized air is sufficient to support the load atop the load pad. It might be best to think of it as a suction cup working in reverse.
Learn: What is the difference between Type A and Type B air bearings?
Air bearings are manufactured in two types: A and B. The primary difference in the two types lies in the amount of vertical lift that can be imparted to the load.
The Type A bearing provides just enough lift to supply an air film necessary to create a zero-friction-effect. This type exhibits low air consumption and improved load stability. Type A air bearing travel very close to the ground and consequently, Type A bearings are used exclusively to transport loads on perfectly level floors.
In contrast, the Type B bearing provides up to three times the lift height and two times the load capacity and is more suitable when floor conditions such as roughness and levelness are less than desirable. This makes the air casters more versatile. Understandably it consumes three times the amount of air compared to the Type A and requires a source of higher volume and pressure?