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A pneumatic air table realized by micro-EDM

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5 Author(s)
Guenat, O.T. ; Inst. of Microtechnol., Neuchatel Univ., Switzerland ; Hirata, T. ; Akashi, T. ; Gretillat, M.-A.
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This paper presents a one-dimensional (1-D) pneumatic actuator fabricated by combining several micromachining technologies such as microelectrodischarge machining (micro-EDM) as well as isotropic and anisotropic wet etching. Unlike the existing pneumatic actuators, which usually convey the object by means of friction, this device employs the dynamic pressure of inclined driving jets in order to enhance the horizontal transportation performance. Typical slider speeds of up to 5 cm/s can be obtained. Comparisons between different types of sliders are presented. By an appropriate patterning of the slider bottom surface, the speed could be increased by 50%-60%. Similarly, a maximum tangential force of 20 μN (equivalent shear stress: 2.2 μN/mm2) was obtained using this dynamic pressure concept. The latter is about two times larger than that of a slider with a smooth surface

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Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 4 )