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The linear motion devices like actuators, rod piston arrangements, automated linear carriages, rail guides, and so on, are often equipped with bellows, boots, and covers. Out of all these, bellows play a highly significant role in the safe operation of these linear motion devices. The linear motion devices are subjected to friction, heat generation, and the impact of environmental elements. Therefore, different types of linear motion bellows are available, such as rubber bellows, metal bellows, perforated folded bellows, combination folded bellows, etc. However, do you know why exactly these bellows are used in the linear motion systems? What purpose do bellows serve? This post answers these questions for you. This post gives insights about significant operational circumstances of linear motion devices and the role of bellows in such applications.


Problems Faced During the Operations of Linear Motion Devices

The linear motion devices like actuators, carriages, etc. are subjected to the following problems that are essential to address for efficient operation.

  • Internal Friction: In the linear motion devices, the mechanical parts are always subjected to internal friction due to interactive motion. Excessive friction can lead to wear of components, heat generation, and abrupt breakdown of the system in extreme cases.
  • Heat Generation: The linear motion systems are often subjected to internal heat generation due to friction. Many linear motion devices used in applications like automotive, mechanical industrial systems, and so on, often damage to internal and external heat.
  • Pressure Build-up: The linear motion devices like actuators are prone to pressure build-up during operation. The raised pressure can cause damage to the device and injure the operator.
  • Dust and Debris Interruption: Being part of outdoor or industrial applications, the linear motion devices are interrupted by dust, debris, metal chips, rust, etc. This can cause high friction, blockage, pressure build-up, etc in the long run.

Purposes Served by Bellows in Linear Motion Devices

The bellows serve the purposes of securing the linear motion devices against the mentioned problems.

  • The bellows can aid in the internal friction between two interactive components of a system. Bellows are known to absorb external vibrations, shocks, etc. Therefore, the friction due to outside circumstances is reduced in linear motion devices.
  • The bellows help in heat dissipation as linear motion devices are subjected to internal heat generation. Due to uniform heat distribution, the thermal damage like hotspots, surface damage, lubricant burnout and etc. are reduced.
  • Bellows can offer protection of high-pressure build-up. The bellows are generally designed for normal to high temperature and high-pressure build-up. Even in cases of external high-pressure applications, the bellows can offer protection to the linear motion systems.
  • Bellows protect the systems from dust, debris, etc. Since lubrication is an essential element of linear motion systems, the dust and debris get stuck on the lubricant causing excessive friction or motion restriction. Bellows prevent the system from such interruption and lubricant leakage as well.

Now that you are aware of the significance of bellows in the linear motion devices, you may be considering them for your application. Ensure that you source them from a reliable manufacturer or supplier who understands your requirements and can customize the bellows for your specific needs. Nabell USA Corp is a well-known bellows manufacturer and supplies bellows for all major brands of linear motion equipment. They have an excellent team of design engineers with a vast industry experience, who can help you make cost-effective, robust, and durable choices for your bellows application.

Nabell can supply a range of materials like rubber, PVC-coated polyester, Kevlar, and many more. Their bellows are designed for up to 900˚ F of temperature tolerance and long term durability. Customized applications are their specialty.

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