Precision air bearings made of glass or glass ceramic


The requirements for precision bearing accuracy of assemblies is growing in scientific equipment construction. For special-purpose applications in precision engineering and microtechnology, air-lubricated bearings are being increasingly used.

By using glass or glass ceramic as a bearing material and employing the manufacturing and assembly methods of the optical industry, plane and double spherical bearing with outstanding properties can be realized.



  • Structurally unambiguously defined bearing principle
  • Spherical bearing principle enables self-centering effect
  • Use of αmin-materials ensures thermal stability
  • Avoidance of ductile deformation with use of glass and glass ceramic
  • High bearing rigidity
  • Very high running accuracy


Our work

The Fraunhofer IOF develops and builds air bearings using the double spherical or plane spherical bearing principle.

  • Calculation, simulation, design and production of aerostatic and aerodynamic bearings
  • Structuring of bearing surfaces to generate self-pumping bearings
  • Production of miniature nozzles
  • Ultra-precision processing
  • Precision balancing
  • Metrological characterization of bearings