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Bearings - 2011-01-17

Newly Developed Seals Contribute to Lower Dust Emission 
NSK has developed the new Low-Dust NSK Linear Guide™ and Low-Dust Ball Screw, both of which feature significantly lower levels of dust emission compared with that normally generated by standard products. These products were developed for use with such clean room environments as semiconductor and liquid crystal fabrication systems. NSK is scheduled to commence sale of the new products in April 2011.

The significantly lower dust-emission performance of this product was achieved by combining NSK Clean Grease LG2, widely recognised for its low-dust emission characteristics, with a newly developed clean seal. NSK continues to expand its line of products for clean room environment applications. The newly developed Low-Dust NSK Linear Guide™ and Low-Dust Ball Screw was on display at the SEMICON Japan 2010 Exhibition held in December at the Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex in Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture.

Development background
When the mechanical elements of the linear guides and ball screws interlock and move tiny particles can be given off from the grease being used (referred to as “dust emission”). NSK Clean Grease LG2, which features lower dust emission compared with standard types of grease, is widely recognised by the market as a significant factor in the lower dust emission performance of the new linear guides and ball screws. The ongoing miniaturisation of patterns etched on wafers and glass substrates, in recent years, is driving demand for even lower dust-emission performance. In addition, there is a growing need to reduce the higher dust emission potential as the operating speeds of fabrication systems continue to increase.

In addition to improving the quality of the grease used, meeting these demands requires development of new sealing technologies capable of preventing the tiny particles generated inside the linear guides and ball screws from reaching the outside of the unit. The two new NSK products meet both of these needs.

Product features
These two new products contribute to reducing dust emission through the following advanced features.

1. Low dust-emission performance
NSK has developed seals optimised for clean room environment applications that prevent minute particles generated by ball rotation from escaping to the outside. Dust emission has been reduced by half. The NSK Clean Grease LG2 featuring enhanced dust reducing performance is also used.

2. Diverse product portfolio
Linear Guides: LH, LS, SH and SS Series in Nos. #20 and #25
Ball Screws: Offered in 12 specifications based on varying combinations of shaft diameter (φ12 to 20 mm) and leads (5 to 40 mm)

NSK also provides a series of large-lead products capable of operation at higher speeds while still reducing dust emission. Ball screw feed speeds can be increased without increasing shaft rpm.

Sample applications
Just some of the examples of applications for these products include clean environment facilities like semiconductor and liquid crystal fabrication systems and clean room conveyor systems.

Environmental considerations
The Low-Dust NSK Linear Guide™ and Low-Dust Ball Screw contain no materials considered harmful to the environment.

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