Linear slides are devices which are used to provide precision motion along linear planes for many different types of automated machinery for the purposes of pushing, pulling or positioning. Using ball bearings, or cylindrical bearings, linear slides are able to move with low friction and energy expenditure.
Some linear slides are motorized such as machine slides, XY tables, roller tables and some dovetail slides which are then able to handle heavy and cumbersome loads. Other slides such as drawer slides, ball bearing slides, telescopic slides and roller slides do not need the addition of a driver engine and rely on hand power, inertia or gravity to move the load through the linear guide. There are many applications in which linear slides are used including: clean room operating systems, robotic assembly machinery, automatic packaging equipment and CNC machining equipment such as drilling and grinding machines. Linear rails are also used in many other diverse industries, such as semiconductor, chemical processing, optical, textile and commercial. While basic linear slides are used to provide motion along a single plain and back and forth in one direction, advanced linear slides, such as positioning stages, XY tables, linear stages and machine slides may be designed and configured to provide movement along multiple axes. These systems are more complicated to manufacture and yet can be used to drastically cut back on operating procedure times.
Typically, linear slides are composed of a stationary base onto which a carriage, or moving platform or component, is attached along a linear rail of bearings. The carriage slides along the bearings from one end of the base to the other with minimal friction, offering a precisely restricted range of movement. This is ideal for many applications such as precision eyeglass assembly, robotic welding, instrumentation and other specialized processes. The precisely controlled automated equipment using linear slides provides an ideal solution to many operating needs for both large and small applications. While some applications rely on inertia or gravity to move the carriage, others are motor driven which further adds to the control of the motion process as the load or equipment can be moved at an exactly desired speed. However, linear slides are designed primarily for precision movement control, not for power. Although linear slide components are used to move thousands of pounds of weight, and ball bearing slides and crossed roller slides are both capable of handling heavy loads, this is done with minimal friction as the bearings provide a sliding mechanism. Therefore, only a relatively small amount of torque is required to move even massive loads. Roller slides tend to absorb less stress from weight as they offer a line of contact, rather than the point contact of a ball bearing.
Cast iron is commonly used to fabricate components of a linear system as it is a durable and strong material which is able to withstand a fair amount of wear and tear which linear systems, especially those designed for heavier load carrying, are susceptible to. Aluminum is another commonly used material as it is able to maintain its shape and structure even under stress. Stainless steel is used as the material for linear systems which are designed to be used in work environments in which humidity and corrosion may be factors. For processes which have prolonged exposure to moisture, corrosion in the linear bearing system would result in system failure. Therefore, stainless steel is used as its corrosion resistant properties combined with its durability make it an ideal material choice. Linear slides are a cost-effective piece of operating machinery and tend to be low maintenance equipment. The bearings used in the linear system are the components that show deterioration soonest as they are the point of contact between the weight of the load and the linear rails. Roller slides tend to absorb less stress from weight as they offer a line of contact, rather than the point contact of a ball bearing. Ball bearings are most susceptible to wear and tear, even those made from cast iron, and will need to be periodically replaced to ensure the optimum running of the linear rail system.
Plant conditions are an important factor to consider when choosing linear systems. Bearing housings should be used to provide a protective barrier between the sensitive bearing systems and the possible contaminants of debris and dust. Covers or other shields should be used where it is possible to attach them to the slide system without interfering in the operations of the sliding mechanism. In machine slides, machine ways are used which are placed in front of the attached carriage to brush or wipe clean the railing before the carriage passes over it. This removes dirt particles which would speed up the rate of wear and tear on the complete system. Dovetail slides may require additional lubrication, but most linear slides should be able to maintain a low-friction, smooth movement without adding further lubrication. Precisely controlled automated equipment is costly and the procedures which use linear slides are often dependent upon accuracy, therefore it is important to maintain optimum working conditions of linear slide systems including regular maintenance and repair when needed.
Linear Slides - Del-Tron Precision, Inc.
Linear Slides - DuraBond™ Slide
Linear Slides - DuraBond™ Slide
Linear Slides - DuraBond™ Slide
Linear Slides - DuraBond™ Slide
Linear Slides - DuraBond™ Slide
Linear slides are technically known as linear motion bearings. They are designed for and used in machineries and mechanisms to provide free motion and control the machine's operation. There are motorized bearings or slides that are used for some special systems. Frequently used motorized slides are machine slides, roller tables, and dovetail slides. These motorized slides are run by a drive mechanism, which is powered by electricity (AC or DC power) and sometimes fuel.
The name linear slide comes from the action these mechanisms carry out. Linear slides provide linear motion, which is why they are called linear slides or linear bearings. There are different types of bearings used in a range of industrial process machines. This article, in the following sections, outlines various types of linear slides -
Rolling Element Slides:
Rolling element slides are made from a sleeve-like outer ring, in addition to many rows of balls that are assembled in a set of cages. Earlier, these cages were made from solid metal, but now, these can be a composition of stampings. The key job of these bearings is to render smooth motions, while providing low friction and durability to the mechanism. These slides also offer high rigidity and affordable operation, due to their easy maintenance feature.
Some of the biggest advantages of these slides include: they are stronger than plain bearings, have less chances of contamination, and their speed and motion can be increased by using lubricants.
Ball Bearing Slides:
Ball bearing slides are a type of rolling element slide known for their smooth and accurate motions in a single-axis linear environment. The single-axis is positioned in the linear base that has its own lubrication technique, which automatically increases the speed of the motion whenever needed.
All these innovations are an ideal utility for the manufacturing, electronics, home appliances, and building construction purposes. Ball bearing slides are one the most powerful bearings for these industries, since they are made from aluminum, steel, and sometimes galvanized steel.
Roller slides are also a type of roller element slide, which are put into the category of non-motorized bearings. These slides are often used for the machines that are run by the inertia or hands. Due to their crisscrossed movement, they are also called crossed roller slides. These slides are used to provide heavy load bearing capability to the mechanism. From the medical to the telecommunication industry, and from construction and automation to vacuum systems and clean rooms, roller slides play an important role in a large number of industrial applications. The best part of roller slides is their versatility. Also, they can be engineered to fit into various applications, as required.
In their design, plain bearings are very close to roller slides. Since there is no provision of ball bearings, these slides have limited usage. Additionally, they are not as rigid as rolling element slides. Plain slides are also called bushings and are made from metal and plastic materials. These bearings can efficiently run on steel and stainless steel shafts, in addition to the ones that are made from aluminum.
Linear slides and linear motion bearings are two names for the same mechanism, used in a large number of industrial applications. These bearings consistent of three main parts, a pad, bushing, and roller system, which carry the load. The load is ideally placed on a rail, the length of which is defined by the actuator. Rails are a simple design element and have a flat surface. In addition, rails can be a perfectly round, polished rod. Sometimes, they can be a complex design, which is typically decided based on the application.
Although linear slides have a prolonged durability, their life majorly depends on the load, speed, and frequency.
Also, there are special purpose linear slides that are commonly used in drawers and work tables that have moving parts. For smooth and noiseless functioning, both the slides and rail need to have a smooth surface.
Bushings are used to create the simplest linear slides. They are innovatively designed cylinders with thin walls. These cylinders are created via the injection molding process, are made from polymers, and used with a set of lubricants to foster the smooth motion. At times, there are bronze metal cylinders that have oil infused in the body. These bronze cylinders rotate and slide around the polished rod.
Linear guides are known for carrying and bearing heavy loads. These slides have a re-circulating ball, which is technically referred to as a roller bearing affixed into a rectangular pad. These rectangular pads are often replaced by slide units. In linear motion guides, there can be more than one rail, to support faster and more reliable sliding and bearing of the load.
Ball splines are nothing but an advanced design of linear slides that have a cylinder that acts as the sliding unit of the mechanism. The cylinder typically has three to five circuits that help recirculate the balls, ensuring easy and controlled movement. Some linear slide manufacturers also create low maintenance slides, cylinders, and balls - that will help you save on your designing and manufacturing cost.
Sometimes, long-length rails are strategically designed to have a "V" shape to help with space and material management. There is another benefit of these designs, V-shaped rails are less likely to get affected or damaged by dust and other possible pollutants. In addition, these designs do not need a bellow or cover to protect it.
Accessories for linear slides:
A large number of accessories are used by engineers to create effective linear slide rail systems. One such accessory, a wiper, is used for is used for sweeping the rail right before the slide unit. This movement ensures that there is no debris on the rail to impact the performance of the linear sliding system. Sometimes, seals are also used to keep away the dust and dirt from the rail. However, for seals, debris is not consist of dust and particulates, but an excess of lubricants.
Linear slides are linear motion bearings that are utilized in the design of a wide variety of applications we see or use in our day to life. The primary job of these utilities is to support effortless, quick, and noiseless movement of a part. Linear slides are present in hundreds of options, depending on the type and size the application. You can also get linear motion guides designed for your special purpose. For that, you will have to speak to your supplier, explaining them your exact requirements.
To get a perfectly fine-tuned linear slide, you will need to find a reliable and experienced linear slide manufacturer or supplier. The article in the following sections describes a step by step process to help you find one -
Determine your requirements.
Before you even start the process of finding a linear slides supplier, you have to figure out what exactly you need. First, you have to create a detailed list of various factors associated with your application. In this list, you should include the capacity of your appliance, as well as, the frequency at which you use your application. Some other factors - such as the size of the machine, type of environment this mechanism will be used in - should also be included. Along with this, the rigidity and speed your application requires from your linear slide should also be included in this list.
You will need this list while speaking to your supplier.
The idea is to have all the bits and pieces related to your application and requirements available with you, so that you do not miss anything important during the rounds of negotiation with the supplier. This list will also prove helpful in finding the perfect utility for your application.
Perform a search on Google.
The most popular way to find a reliable linear slide manufacturer or supplier is to go Google. On Google, you just have to enter your keywords and results will be there in front of you. From the top results, you can locate a few most popular suppliers of linear slides in your area. Then, browse their website and profile, compare their services and prices, speak to them, share your detailed requirements, and ask for a quote. It would be advisable to request the quote from at least three to four suppliers, doing so will give you a fair idea about the market prices and latest industrial developments. Next, compare their quotations and finalize the deal with them.
The biggest drawback of researching via Google is, sometimes you will find unwanted websites and mediators that are not able to fulfill your demands.
Use an online directory.
IQSdirectory.com is a reliable online directory that lists all the suppliers for your regular and bulky requirements. Visit the site, enter the keyword, i.e. "linear slides", or "linear slide suppliers", and you shall see a list of reliable and verified suppliers of linear slides.
Compare the companies' services, products and prices, and decide which company to work with. On a reliable online directory, this task can be completed within a few minutes.
Linear slide is a type of bearing that is designed for enabling free motions in an application. Also known as the linear motion bearing, these slides provide motion to a part in the desired direction. These motion-bearing elements offer accurate support and guidance to the mechanism. In addition to this, these instruments provide low and controlled friction, as well as smooth, accurate motion to applications. Linear slides are used across many industries, including medical, factory automation, machining, packaging, semiconductor, aerospace, printing, automotive, and food production, etc.
Choosing the right linear slide is crucial for smooth and efficient operation. In the following descriptions, are some tips on how to ensure that the linear motion bearing slides are working fine for your application -
Understand the various types:
Linear slides are available in different types, to suit a variety of applications. First, you need to establish which type of linear slide you need for your industrial process machine. Not every slide will be suitable for achieving your desired motion and rotation. Therefore, it becomes necessary to consult a knowledgeable linear slide supplier to find out which type, size, and capacity will be best suited for your exact requirements.
Different types of loads:
The load that these linear bearings tolerate varies with the type of application. The various types of loads are: vertical loads, moment loads, dynamic equivalent load, horizontal loads, pitch roll, and yaw. Sometimes, the load can be a combination of all these. At times, the direction and angle of the load can also vary. The intensity of the load also differs in some industrial operations.
Linear slides accuracy:
Linear bearing accuracy is the variation in height and length. For a fluent operation, it is necessary for the slide to achieve the best possible accuracies. For applications that do not have perfect accuracy, having a profile rail bearing system can be a suitable option.
To minimize deflection, bearing preload can be used with both round and profile rail bearings. Preloading can provide internal clearance in the bearing. Preloading can be generated by creating an interference between the outer and inner race and fine-tuning the rolling elements.
Linear slides are available in low precision options. These low precisions include sleds, slides, carts, and drawers. Sometimes, these slides are also present in medium precision, such as saw guides and door guides.
Linear Slides Terms
- An optional carrier for linear slides that increases the load capacity.
- A load with a force moving along a shaft or another type of axis.
- To attach linear slides by either fastening directly to "T" slot nuts located in the slide base or by using the base mounting.
- A device whose support allows smooth, low friction motion between two loaded surfaces moving against each other.
- The minimum amount of force or pressure needed to actuate movement of a device, such as a cable, cylinder or rotary actuator, through a complete stroke.
- A device attached to the linear slide, commonly with a bearing system, and responsible for supporting and moving the load.
- A single point at which the weight of an object is most concentrated. The object would remain in equilibrium if supported at the COG.
- A measurement of resistance of a single object sliding across another.
- The part of a linear slide or band cylinder that is necessary for mechanisms and mounting. Dead length plus stroke length equals the total length of the linear slide or band cylinder.
- The amount of bend under a specific weight load.
- A wedge-shaped piece of metal or wood designed to hold structural parts in place and/or provide a bearing surface.
- The amount of resistance
of an object to change velocity. If a linear slide has a large inertia,
more torque will be required to move it.
- A device that changes rotary motion into linear motion.
- A device that senses the end of a stroke on a linear slide. Proximity sensors supply signal to any of various controllers.
- An actuator that provides rotational movement.
- The shaft on a rotary actuator that rotates on its own axis.
- A device implemented with linear slides to decelerate heavy loads at high speeds.
- The distance the carrier and its load move on the linear slide.
- A finger-shaped projection that fits into a corresponding hole.
- The twisting or turning force that produces rotation.