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An ultrasonically levitated noncontact stage using traveling vibrations on precision ceramic guide rails

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5 Author(s)
Koyama, D. ; Precision & Intelligence Lab., Tokyo Inst. of Technol., Yokohama ; Ide, T. ; Friend, James R. ; Nakamura, K.
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This paper presents a noncontact sliding table design and measurements of its performance via ultrasonic levitation. A slider placed atop two vibrating guide rails is levitated by an acoustic radiation force emitted from the rails. A flexural traveling wave propagating along the guide rails allows noncontact transportation of the slider. Permitting a transport mechanism that reduces abrasion and dust generation with an inexpensive and simple structure. The profile of the sliding table was designed using the finite-element analysis (FEA) for high levitation and transportation efficiency. The prototype sliding table was made of alumina ceramic (Al2O3) to increase machining accuracy and rigidity using a structure composed of a pair of guide rails with a triangular cross section and piezoelectric transducers. Two types of transducers were used: bolt-clamped Langevin transducers and bimorph transducers. A 40-mm long slider was designed to fit atop the two rail guides. Flexural standing waves and torsional standing waves were observed along the guide rails at resonance, and the levitation of the slider was obtained using the flexural mode even while the levitation distance was less than 10 mum. The levitation distance of the slider was measured while increasing the slider's weight. The levitation pressure, rigidity, and vertical displacement amplitude of the levitating slider thus were measured to be 6.7 kN/m2, 3.0 kN/mum/m2, and less than 1 mum, respectively. Noncontact transport of the slider was achieved using phased drive of the two transducers at either end of the vibrating guide rail. By controlling the phase difference, the slider transportation direction could be switched, and a maximum thrust of 13 mN was obtained

Published in:

Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

March 2007

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