A Vacuum-Compatible Air Bearing: Design Analysis and Optimization


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This paper describes the vacuum-compatible air bearing designed with a cascaded exhaust scheme to minimize the leakage of air in a vacuum environment. The design of the air bearing, including the differential exhaust system, required great care because several design parameters, such as the number of exhaust stages, diameter and length of the exhaust tube, pumping speed and ultimate pressure of the vacuum pump, and seal length and gap greatly influenced the leakage of air and thus the degree of vacuum. A leakage analysis was performed to estimate the chamber pressure and an optimization method based on the genetic algorithm was proposed under several constraint conditions. The results showed that the degree of vacuum improved dramatically compared to the initial design, and that the distribution of the spatial design parameters and technical limit of the pumping speed were well achieved.



Edited by:

Shen Dong and Yingxue Yao




G.H. Khim et al., "A Vacuum-Compatible Air Bearing: Design Analysis and Optimization", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 339, pp. 37-44, 2007

Online since:

May 2007




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