Light Weight Alternatives for Linear Shafting
LEE Linear offers a lighter weight alternative to hardened steel or stainless steel linear shafting and support rail assemblies. Light weight aluminum shafts and rails are built with aluminum alloy base materials along with a hard coat to which weld splatter, paints, and other contaminants will not stick. They are also a great solution for applications requiring non-magnetic materials. Specifications can be found in the LEE Linear Precision Linear Motion Components catalog.
Light weight aluminum shafting is designed to be used with Simplicity FrelonGOLD® lined bearings and pillow blocks. It is NOT intended for use with linear ball bearings, as the aluminum substrate will not hold up to ball bearings. Its ideal use includes contaminated applications, where the ceramic coated aluminum shafting (inch sizing) offers excellent corrosion resistance and offers a weight savings for those applications where weight is an issue.
The availability of solid round or pre-drilled versions in metric and inch sizing offers designers flexibility. Custom end machining is also an option, as aluminum is easily machined. For ease of selecting machined features, PBC Linear is pleased to provide an online configurator.
To fully support applications that handle heavy loads, the pre-drilled inch ceramic coated shafting can be mated to aluminum predrilled support rail. An alternative to the combination of pre-drilled shafting on support rails is the one-piece integrated shaft and support rail design that utilizes the light weight aluminum, sometimes referred to as Feather Rail, or CCR in our catalog. The CCR is available in inch sizes only.
The integrity of the hard coat can be demonstrated on a recent real-world application.Within this trenching application, a piece of equipment was frequently exposed to an environment that contained dirt, dust, liquids, vibrations, etc. Extensive life testing was accomplished using a variety of contaminants, such as fly ash, grease, silicone spray lube, hydraulic oil, etc. The light weight aluminum hard-coated shaft passed the application test with flying colors.
During the operational testing of the machine, the operator inadvertently ran it into a post anchored in solid rock, bending the leight weight aluminum rail. However, upon inspection of the rail, the design engineer of the equipment was pleased to see that none of the ceramic coating flaked off the round raceway section, even in spots where the coating was damaged during installation. This testimonial serves to underscore the versatility and toughness of light weight aluminum shaft and rail.
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