Linear Slide for Automation Projects
Did you know that the first design for ball bearings was invented in 1794? We have put together this guide to share more about the types of industrial linear slides and what they can and can't handle. If you are looking for linear slides but are overwhelmed by your choices, we are here to help you out.

Read on to learn more so that you can choose the best slides for your projects or needs.

Plain Bearing Slides

These linear slides do not contain a rolling element like other slides. Plain bearing slides use lubrication to reduce friction when they are being moved. Some use a special coating in between to make it easy for the fall to move in and out.

One of the pros of plain bearing slides is that they are easier to maintain because they are more simple and have fewer parts. Also, they can withstand harsher environments because of their simplicity.

There are three main types to choose from:

Dovetail Slides

With this type of slide, a V-shaped bulge on the saddle goes to the corresponding slot on the base. These slides are perfect for handling heavier loads.

They have low maintenance if adequately coated and will last a long time.

Square Gib Slides

These slides have a T-shaped protrusion from the saddle, which fits in a rectangular groove on the base. For those needing a decline that handles hefty payloads, square gib slides are the way to go. Their design has no problem taking the weight.

Cylindrical Column Slides

Cylindrical slides have a different profile from square gibs and dovetail slides. The main pro with this slide type is that they are flexible regarding the materials used. They use cylindrical rails alone with a saddle that has circular holes that fit together.

The slides can be made from plastics, or any type of alloy, so they can function well in different environments.

Ball Bearing Slides

The most common linear slides use ball bearings to help reduce friction. These bearings help reduce friction by removing linear forces. The directions are housed between the base and the carriage inside of pockets.

Because of the bearings, very little lubrication is needed to provide motion. Keep in mind that this type of slide can't really support heavy loads because, under too much pressure, the bearings break or deform. Also, in harsh environments, ball-bearing drops don't do well because the debris and dust lead to the slide failing.

Ready to Choose the Perfect Linear Slide for Your Project?

Now that you have learned about the different types of linear slides, you can decide on the best industrial linear slide for your needs.

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