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A 3 Degree of Freedom Air Bearing for Rough Surfaces

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000037927D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-31
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Glassman, E: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a modified 3 Degree of Freedom (DOF) air bearing system which is capable of interacting with much rougher platens than is normally possible. This enhancement allows the desirable characteristics of a 3 DOF air bearing to exist in an imperfect environment.

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A 3 Degree of Freedom Air Bearing for Rough Surfaces

Disclosed is a modified 3 Degree of Freedom (DOF) air bearing system which is capable of interacting with much rougher platens than is normally possible. This enhancement allows the desirable characteristics of a 3 DOF air bearing to exist in an imperfect environment.

There are situations in which it is desirable to move freely about a plane. However, almost any support system which allows arbitrary motions on the plane (X,Y,r) has intrinsic friction or restriction of range of motion. An exception to this problem is the air bearing. While an air bearing does allow freedom of motion, it requires rather special constraints on the characteristics of the air bearing surfaces.

This improvement provides 3 degree of freedom (DOF) motion on a plane, retains the desirable characteristics of air bearings (minimal friction, no wear, no organic lubricants, able to support substantial loads) while loosening the constraints of having a carefully controlled plane on which the air bearing must ride.

The Figure represents a preferred implementation of this invention. Basically, the principle is very similar to a ball point pen. By pumping air into the cavity around the ball (interposer), one can create a ball which is capable of supporting a load and can roll around on a plane without any significant friction. The interactions of the housing and the ball all take place across a frictionless air film. The interactions between th...