The linear rail is a device widely used in the industrial sector. Depending on the application, linear rails can be manufactured in short lengths or in very large dimensions (>2m) to offer a large range of movement. The industrial sector today uses two types of linear guides: the runner with ball bearings and the runner with rollers.
The characteristics of linear rail
The linear guidance system consists of two parts: the rail and the runner. The latter moves inside the rail, from front to back. Recirculating balls or roller bearings are the moving parts of the assembly. They are equipped with threads to fix the object to be moved.
Linear guide rails are generally constructed of high-strength hardened and galvanized steel to provide a corrosion-resistant device. They are manufactured by a cold drawing process that shapes and profiles the metal to give it the shape of the rail before it is equipped with a roller runner.
These devices come in various shapes and sizes. However, some types are more common in the industrial sector. In principle, profiled rail guides are suitable for high loads. They are also designed to create precise linear motion by having a rectangular shape thick enough for a linear bearing to be firmly fixed. Most rail guides are pre-lubricated in the factory and are even available in miniature sizes for use in places where space is very limited.
The advantages of linear guide rails
Linear rails can be chosen for many reasons, but their main advantages over other types of guide devices are their load capacity, displacement accuracy and rigidity.
Linear rails are the basis for many industrial applications. They effectively offer a low-friction guide system with high rigidity for loads ranging from a few grams to several tons. The size and precision ranges make linear rails suitable for almost all performance requirements in the industrial sector.
In contrast to the round shaft guide system, linear rail guides can withstand both tearing loads and torque forces. Similarly, linear rails can provide very large travel spaces unlike cross roller guides. Compared to sliding bearing guides, linear rails have a higher stiffness while offering an excellent load/life ratio.
Linear guides also offer high accuracy of movement. All these features combine to provide a linear guidance system that is perfectly suited to applications that require high precision, rigidity and long service life.
The cost, maintenance and installation of the linear rail
The frame in which the linear guide rail is to be installed depends on its use. Certain precautions must be considered to ensure the integrity of the device.
Linear guides must be installed in a clean environment to protect the recirculating ball bearing and guideways. These elements may lose their lubrication if rail dust accumulates. Although a clean frame cannot be maintained under certain conditions, the increased frequency of lubrication increases the life of the device.
The cost of linear guide rails depends on the size and material with which they are designed. For devices with a higher load capacity, a larger runner is necessarily more efficient. For more specific applications, do not hesitate to contact our technical and commercial support.
Rail maintenance depends on the frequency of use and the environment in which it is integrated. However, Chambrelan linear guide rails are designed for infrequent maintenance and are limited to annual lubrication in most applications.