Development of Gas Bearings and Guideways

Air bearings and gas guideways for special application cases are developed at Fraunhofer IOF. Aerostatic and aerodynamic components enable precise and controlled movement and a virtually frictionless process with the highest precision and reproducibility. For the rotatory components and systems, concentricity and run-out qualities of under 50 nm are achieved. Translator guiding elements are also combined into systems with the same quality characteristics. The Fraunhofer IOF sets itself the challenge of combining further properties such as athermal design, high mechanical rigidity or vacuum compatibility for special applications with movement precision.

Glass and glass ceramic air bearings are developed, as are ceramic guideways. The principle of the double spherical air bearing makes use of the high quality of optics production and in operation features the property of self-centering.

The Fraunhofer IOF continually works on constructive solutions in the use of gas bearings and guiding elements in high vacuums. By combining them with special suction systems, the outstanding properties of the gas bearings and guideways can also be used for movement in vacuums.


Our work:

  • Aerostatic and aerodynamic bearings
  • Aerostatic guideways