Air Film Technology by Hovair Systems

Air Film Technology

What Is Air Film Technology?

Air Film Technology is a relatively new concept developed in Great Britain back in the 1950s which resulted in the appearance of the Hovercraft.

Here is the fundamental concept behind air film technology. It is the art of forcing a load away from the floor surface harnessing the power of compressed air under control.

Here is the air film process on more detail.
Air Film is produced when a constant amount of compressed air is distributed through a tightly-sealed component - such as an air caster module - until it reaches what is known as an air bearing. When the air fills the air bearing and filled the polyurethane diaphragm of the air bearing it has nowhere else to go except to try and exit through the exhaust holes of the air bearing.

These exhaust holes lead the compressed air directly to the floor surface on which you are working. When the exhausted air hits the floor surface it is instantly repelled by the floor and sent back to where it came from. However, the exhaust chambers are now full of incoming compressed air and therefore cannot go back.

The only place for the exhausting air to go is upwards into the diaphragm. When the diaphragm of the air bearing cannot accept any more incoming air the air simply forces the air bearing to raise away from the floor surface - such is the force of the air pushing against it. When this happens a "film of air" has been generated between the load the air bearings are supporting and the floor surface.

This film of air is used to easily transport (float) the load to wherever it need to be.

Here is a typical air caster module with fitted air bearing. You can see in the center of the black polyurethane diaphragm the four exhaust holes that release the incoming compressed air.

Air Film Technology by Hovair Systems  |  Air Bearing Systems - Here is a machine moving air bearing and caster.          Air Film Technology by David Roberts, Hovair Systems. USA

Here are two examples of air caster modules: a round steel module and a square aluminum module. The process is the same whichever load module is used. The types of module - square or round - is to determine the type of load which will be placed onto the air caster modules.

When an air caster load module is manufactured, it is formed into a load moving kit system by adding more modules to form a complete system kit complete with all air hoses, valves and other components required to set up the system right out of the box. The only thing you have to supply is the compressed.

Here is a completed square aluminum four-station kit system all ready to go and to the right is a low profile air caster kit system laid out in a typical square profile setup.

Air Film Technology by Hovair Systems          Air Film Technology by Hovair Systems - Low profile air film systems.

Did you know that an air bearing and caster machine moving system will make your load moving so much easier, and way more cost effective?

Hovair Systems air bearing powered systems are designed to lift and move heavy loads and machines that are too heavy for conventional methods such as forklift trucks, overhead gantry and crane methods.

Air powered (pneumatic) load moving systems work in a series of four or more and lift your load away from the floor much the same as a Hovercraft. Our products use the same principle: air film technology.

Using our wide range of products you can now move loads and machines of any shape, size or weight using just a little of the regular compressed air in your shop. These systems are so easy to use. Anyone can use them: guys, gals, even the boss.

We have a great range of starter kits available complete with all hoses and necessary fittings. When your load capacities grow, simply add a couple more modules to take the strain and it is business as usual.

You can move loads of up to 100 tons and more with virtually no effort at all.

Move your loads into places that a forklift truck or overhead crane just cannot get to. There is no limit to the tight spaces you can maneuver into.

Check out our main web site and look for the demo videos which will show you just how easy these systems are to use.

We would love to hear about your load moving need so why not contact us to chat about those needs and whether or not we can help you. No obligation whatsoever. Contact Us.


Click here to see a demo movie showing one man moving a heavy load of steel girders - with very little effort

Hovair Systems of Seattle are one of the leading air bearing manufacturers, and have over 40 years experience in providing load moving solutions to industry in USA, Canada and the rest of the world.

Here are some of the benefits to using a Hovair Systems air bearing and caster load moving system:

  • Affordable, safe, and cost-effective
  • Uses only compressed air in your shop - no messy fuels or nightly charging
  • Can be permanently fixed to heavy machinery for quick and easy machine moving
  • Available in lightweight aluminum or round steel formats
  • Height profiles as low as 1" - modules easily slide under most loads
  • Terrific backup and support service by Hovair Systems management

These great systems are in use all across the world and are making life so much easier for their owners. Ask Boeing, Hewlett Packard, Pilkington, Lockheed Martin - all companies that use them daily.

Click here to see more demo movies and a great product line that can take care of all your load moving needs

Here are some links to our air powered load moving and machine handling products:

Hovair Home Page

Hovair Products

Everything you need to know about air bearings & casters

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