Air Bearing Spindles

PI Nelson Air has supplied a number of air bearing spindles for a variety of customers. These bearings provide good load capacity and extremely high stiffness with very low runout and are inherently frictionless. This makes them ideal for high speed precision applications.

Many sizes, configurations and materials are available. Please contact us to discuss your exact needs and for more detailed specifications.


  • TIR of ±5 millionths of an inch (up to ±2 available)
  • Load capacity from 1 lb to 350 lbs
  • Zero Speed to 80,000 rpm Available
  • Operating pressure from 30 psi to 90 psi
  • Material: Hardcoat Aluminum, Stainless Steel
  • Motorized Models Available
  • HIgh Resolution Encoders Available
  • Vacuum Feedthrough Option Available
  • Precision Collet Interfaces Available

Application Examples

Micro-Machining Spindle

Micromachining spindle with integrated vacuum feedthrough. Motorized air bearing spindle with noncontact, cogless motor and high resolution optical encoder. Speed from 0 to 15,000 rpm.

In addition to the spindle an air bearing XY stage was provided to this customer to build a custom microturning system.

Micro-Grinding Spindles

Microgrinding Spindle System with 3 Spindles. One for part holding, one for the grinding wheel and one for the dressing wheel.

The system included a self contained control package with manual interface for the grinding and dressing spindles with speed control and a motion controller with computer interface for the part spindle (to allow indexing and coordination with a XY stage).

Speed from 0 to 15,000 rpm.

Bore Measurement Spindle

Precision motorized air bearing spindle used for ultra-precision bore measurements in automated measuring machines. Entire 360 degree data set can be taken in less than a second with excellent accuracy and repeatability. This allows greatly increased throughput compared to conventional CMM gauging.

Brake Pad Friction Measurement Spindle

A custom frictionless, nonmotorized air bearing spindle was designed to integrate into an existing friction testing machine. The spindle has double precision ground tapers for mounting wheel adaptors. Air bearing precision gives unsurpassed repeatability and accuracy of measurements in a 24-7 production environment.

Optical Turning Spindle

Optical Turning Air Bearing Spindle for turning small optical parts. Precision collet interface and simple belt-driven design make this a robust and extremely accurate spindle design for small parts production.