Non-contact position control via fluid shear force

Edward Sung, Brandon Chalifoux, Jay Fucetola, Mark L. Schattenburg, Ralf K. Heilmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Non-contact position control of components is beneficial to avoid wear, damage, and nonlinearities associated with friction. Air bearings, in particular, offer non-contact, high stiffness guidance, but no means of controlling the position of the supported component. In this work, we investigate the use of shear force resulting from the air bearing fluid flow as a means of actuation. Shear force actuation is tested in an air bearing slumping system, where a flat, horizontally placed glass substrate is supported on both sides by top and bottom air bearings. We investigate the use of two methods of substrate position sensing: a fiber-optic sensor and a machine vision sensor. We show that the glass substrate position can be successfully controlled by using fluid shear force. The magnitude of the fluid shear force is measured. System identification is performed, and the results are shown to agree with a second-order model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalPrecision Engineering
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Air bearing
  • Glass
  • High temperature
  • Machine vision
  • Non-contact
  • Shear force
  • Slumping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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