Air Caster Technology Makes Loads As Light As Air Terry Pitsch, Engineering Manager.

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Air Caster Technology Makes Loads As Light As Air Terry Pitsch, Engineering Manager

How It Works Captures air inside a bag (air caster) to lift and move objects, like a puck moves on an air hockey table

How It Works Supports up to 5000 tons of weight by moving pressurized air under an object – The air is inside a thin fluid film air caster The fluid film (caster) bends and flows over the surface like a Hovercraft Increased air pressure over a larger area makes it possible to lift a heavier load

Fluid Film Technology Fluid film devices: the basis of the air caster theory Weight supported by a moving, pressurized flowing fluid film 0.002 – 0.005 inches thick Air bearings and air hockey tables are examples of fluid film devices Hovercrafts and air casters are examples of compliant fluid film devices Load (or force) = Pressure x Area (the power of square inches) Developed in 1950s Gained favor in 1960s

History of Fluid Film Technology l 1950 - General Motors –GM Style Bearing l 1960 - Boeing Aircraft AeroGo Torus Style Bearing l 1967 - AeroGo founded

When air is applied to the Aero-Caster, the torus bag inflates, creating a seal against the floor surface and raising the load.

When the pressure within the chamber is sufficient to offset the loads weight, air evenly escapes between the flexible torus bag and the floor. The load is literally floated on a thin, nearly frictionless cushion of air,.003 to.005 inches (.08 to.13mm) thick.

Why Use Fluid Film Technology? Extremely low friction Typical friction factor 0.001- 0.003 vs. 0.06 for typical wheel Allows medium weights (500- 5000 pounds) to be moved by a single person Allows heavy weights (10,000 – 6,600,000 pounds) to be moved with greatly reduced drive systems

Why Use Fluid Film Technology? Omni-directional movement Unlike wheels, movement in all directions is easy Provides means to precisely align equipment - whether 500 or 5,000,000 pounds - without constant repositioning 360° rotation

Why Use Fluid Film Technology? Low surface loading Typical maximum surface loading of 50 psi Allows extremely heavy loads to be transported over standard floors Will not damage floors or coatings Built-in lift feature Can be used with or without other lift mechanisms Greatly reduces cost and complexity

Air Caster Benefits Low surface loading Built-in lift Low profile Low friction; no floor damage Economical and reliable Flexible for a variety of applications Easy omnidirectional multi-positioning Precise positioning without floor damage compared to traditional material handling equipment methods Ergonomic - reduces lift hazards Utilizes existing compressed air Aero-Casters meet ASME specifications

Variety of Configurations

Used in Combination

Used by Many Industries

Usage by Industry

ASME B30.1-2009 Applies to Jacks, Industrial Rollers, Air Casters and Hydraulic Gantries 1-3 Air Lifting Bags 1-5 Air Casters Design: Design and Proof Tested 2X Rated Load. Air Pressure Regulation. Periodic Inspection: Inspect Prior to Each Move Do Not Attempt to Repair Torus Bags Operating Practices: Safety First – Have a Plan Maintain Control of the Load Maintain Visibility and Communication

Operating Surfaces Optimum: Smooth, flat and nonporous * Dont worry! It is possible to put a temporary overlay over bad surfaces, so you can still use air casters to move heavy loads. Good SurfacesUnacceptable Surfaces* Typical concrete factory floor with penetrating sealer Asphalt Epoxy coatedBroom finish concrete TileCarpet VinylGravel MetalDirt

Surface Specifications What can I do if my surface is bad? ParameterAllowance Acceptable Floor Slope0.25 inch for 10-ft (6.6mm in 3.0m) Allowable floor undulations1/4 of total air caster lift height Allowable overlay thickness0.020in / 0.51mm Approx. 25 gauge sheet metal Beveling overlays or sloping ramps 1:20 slope or ramp

Application: Power Generation

Application: Power Generation

Application: Lean Manufacturing

Application: Lean Manufacturing

Application: Nuclear

Application: Nuclear

Application: Roll/Reel Handling

Application: Clean Room

Application: Clean Room

Application: Marine/Shipbuilding

Application: Marine/Shipbuilding

Application: Aircraft/Aerospace

Issue: High Center of Gravity Recommended 2:1 or less.

Issue: Overhanging Load Recommended 4:1 or less.

Issue: Poorly Constructed Floors Prep and prime.

Issue: Rough Seams or Transitions Smooth and seamless transitions.

Issue: Small Load Footprint Air bearings require a rigid support structure..

Issue: Ramps and Slopes Air bearings require a smooth transition.