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New bearings for non-contact balancing of rotors

Single Bearing
Single Bearing

New Way Air Bearings has announced it is now offering 'Bently balance bearings’, externally pressurised air bearings for non-contact support of rotors during balancing operations. The new air bearings can be applied to a range of pumps in a range of industries, and are designed to lead to smooth running through better balancing.

Air bearings eliminate damage to the rotor from hard rollers and the mess of oil film bearings in balance chambers. Additionally, the company claims that the air bearings deliver a more precise axis of rotation with a cleaner signal for higher resolution in balancing.

In a statement, Drew Devitt from New Way explains the benefits of the new air bearings in reducing rotation errors and providing higher resolution.

“For instance, combined errors from runout of 4 rollers supporting a rotor cause asynchronous motion errors of the supported rotor that often exceeds .001 of an inch. Alternatively, with the rotor supported on air bearings the roundness of the journal (often .0001 of an inch or better) is the only rotating reference surface, and so the motion errors will be synchronous and averaged, so there will be less than one tenth of the amplitude of the hard rollers’ motion errors.” Devitt explained. “This results in a clean signal that is exactly the same each revolution, improving resolution.” 

The air bearings can be mounted with ‘bolt-on’ adaptive hardware for replacing rollers, using the same mounting features as the original hard rollers.

In terms of fluid handling, the air bearings will be applicable to a range of different applications. As a representative from the company told Fluid Handling International: “Better balancing benefits all rotating equipment. The faster it spins the more important balancing is.”

Single Bearing