The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology

, Volume 47, Issue 9, pp 911-918

First online:

Dynamic characteristics of a direct-drive air-bearing slide system with squeeze film damping

  • Frank P. WardleAffiliated withUPM Ltd., Mill Lane Email author 
  • , C. BondAffiliated withLoadpoint Ltd., Chelworth Ind Est
  • , C. WilsonAffiliated withDelta Tau Europa
  • , K. ChengAffiliated withBrunel University
  • , D. HuoAffiliated withBrunel University

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Direct-drive air-bearing slides have the inherent advantages of high positioning accuracy and smoothness of motion, but due to low damping in the air bearings, they generally lack dynamic stiffness. The rigidity of the drive, both statically and dynamically, can also be low compared to mechanical equivalents. In this paper, the dynamic response of an air-bearing slide fitted with a novel design of oil-lubricated squeeze film damper and driven by a fast-response, high-resolution control system is reported. The results show that the damper produces a substantial improvement in dynamic stiffness and that sufficient drive stiffness can be obtained to enable the slide to be used in some precision-machining applications.


Air bearings Slides Motion control Damping Dynamic stiffness