Pneumatic Powered Load Moving Systems - Air Bearing Principle

Pneumatic Powered Load Moving Systems - Air Bearing Principle

For the past thirty years, industry has found it can move heavy, cumbersome equipment and gear easier and faster on frictionless air. Air bearings are housed in strong aluminum or steel caster modules, which are usually linked to other modules to form an air bearing system that is capable of moving loads of 100 tons and beyond.

An air bearing is a simple piece of equipment that inflates to form an air cushion, or film of air beneath it - similar to a hovercraft - which then allows the air bearing to float on the air and subsequently move anything that may be loaded on it. Air bearings are generally used in multiples of at least 3 which can be strategically placed to provide more stability to all types of loads.

Principle of Operation

Air bearing principle, air film bearing products, vehicle specialty Hovair Air Bearings are efficient movers of heavy loads.

Moving on air is the most efficient method of materials handling on the market today. Moving heavy loads on air is a clean, quiet and safe method which will not damage floors. One (1) pound of force will move 1000 pounds, and one individual can move several tons with complete control.


Precise Positioning Of Equipment

Hovair Systems enable you to move and position equipment to an exact location. It is omnidirectional for conveniently aligning the load to a designated area in a limited space. Positive control of the air allows the operator to move the equipment easily and without damage. The low profile of our systems requires less than a 3-inch clearance - even as low as 1½ inches.


The Three Stages of Inflation

Looking at the diagram below, you can see the three stages of how a typical A-type air bearing is energized to enable it to cause flotation of a load.

Deflated - Left:

In the deflated stage, the air bearing, housed in its caster module, is resting on the floor with most of the weight being supported by the center load pad.

Inflated Air Bearing - Center:

The center image shows the air bearing in an inflated form after it has formed a seal with the floor surface. At this stage, the load has not been engaged.

Load Lifted On Air - Right:

The image to the right shows the air bearing after it has engaged and floated the load. After it has formed a seal with the floor surface, more air is introduced into the air bearing causing it to inflate further. Compressed air will then start to escape from the bearing diaphragm into the area that is being contained by the floor seal. The weight of the load causes the compressed air escaping out of the air bearing to force downward onto the floor surface thus causing the load to float away from the floor.

Air bearing principle, air film bearing products, vehicle specialty

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