Professional Instruments Company builds many air bearing slide assemblies using round rods. Our special air-bearing-equipped machine tools are ideally suited to produce the precise cylindrical diameters required for this type of bearing. We have adapted a wide range of different housings to accept our round rod bearings, and even supply some standard bearing components. We are equally comfortable using element, orifice, and porous-wall compensation and understand how to apply each to our customers’ advantage. Element-compensated round rod slides are uniquely suited to solve the problem of operating air bearings inside a vacuum chamber. Differentially-pumped capillary seals at the ends of the cylindrical housing separate the air bearings from the vacuum environment.

Professional Instruments Company’s standard E.P. bearings (externally-pressurized) are an inexpensive and simple way to get an air bearing into an existing design or to start building a new motion system. The housings are made from 660 bronze. The inside diameters are bored in a diamond turning machine to air bearing tolerances. Our proprietary element compensation ensures excellent radial and tilt load capacity and stiffness. Shafting can be provided by Professional Instruments Company or is available from a variety of other sources. We size the housing to accept standard-size shafts. Thrust plates may be attached to the ends of the shafting, making a simple spindle. E.P. bearings are available in shaft-diameter sizes from 3/4” to 1-1/2”.