Stainless steel guides keep you on track
HepcoMotion’s off-the-shelf stainless steel linear and rotary guides help engineers who are looking to design systems for vacuum and extreme temperature environments.
Until now, engineers wanting to move products within a vacuum or extreme temperature environment were faced with two choices. They either had to design a bespoke linear motion concept, or they could adapt an existing system to meet their needs.
A key feature of the Hepco system is the use of stainless steel. Stainless steel is the default choice for a vacuum because it doesn’t outgas, is inherently clean and non-corrosive, and therefore suitable for vacuum applications that require a high level of cleanliness. Stainless steel also doesn’t melt in high temperature environments.
Chris Rees, sales director at the firm says: “The reason our system works in a vacuum or high temperature environment is down to two things, material selection and some bespoke design.
“Vacuum environments will cause any porous materials to outgas and therefore fail. This effectively rules out the use of any polymers, plastics and some sintered materials.“
Another advantage of the Hepco system is that a six bearing carriage system, unlike a recirculating ball rail system, has the ability to traverse a large gap in the rail. This design allows the carriage plate (and component placed upon it) to move from the outside into the vacuum chamber and act effectively as an automated feed-in system.
The gap in the rail is essential in order to allow the door of the vacuum chamber airlock to be opened and closed, but the Hepco system facilitates this movement with ease.
The bearings are available in sizes from 18 to 54mm in diameter, with a broad range of fixing styles and load capacities from 180 to 4200N. They have the same dimensions as the bearings in the Hepco SL2 range and can be supplied ready-mounted onto an SL2 or PRT2 carriage plate, or as components that users can mount onto their own carriage assemblies.
These products are widely used in applications such as: semiconductor wafer and aerospace component manufacture; vapour deposition processes; LCD panel/ plasma display manufacture and in vacuum evaporation equipment. The LTSS bearings also appear in low temperature applications such as cold stores and specialised freeze-dry equipment.
Contact: 0800 243 444 firstname.lastname@example.org