Linear Shafting and Rails Light Weight Alternatives

PBC Linear offers a lighter weight alternative to hardened steel or stainless steel linear shafting and support rail assemblies. Feather Shaft and Feather Rail are aluminum alloy base materials with a hard coat to which weld splatter, paints, and other contaminants will not stick. They are also a great solution for applications requiring non-magnetic materials. Specifications can be found in the PBC Linear Round Shaft Technology catalog, or the Simplicity® 60 Plus® data sheet.

Feather Shafting is designed to be used with Simplicity FrelonGOLD® lined bearings and pillow blocks. It is NOT intended for use with linear ball bearings – the aluminum substrate will not hold up to ball bearings. Ideal for use in contaminated applications, the inch ceramic coated aluminum shafting offers excellent corrosion resistance and offers a weight savings for those applications where weight is an issue. 

The availability of solid round or pre-drilled versions in metric and inch sizing offers the designer flexibility. Custom end machining is also an option, as aluminum is easily machined. For ease of selecting machined features, PBC Linear is pleased to provide an online configurator.

The pre-drilled inch ceramic coated shafting can be mated to aluminum predrilled support rail for fully supported applications to handle heavy loads. Another alternative to the combination of pre-drilled shafting on support rails is the one-piece integrated shaft and support rail design is the Feather Rail (CCR). The CCR is available in inch sizes only.

The integrity of the hard coat is demonstrated on a piece of equipment used in a trenching application – dirty, dusty, wet, vibration, etc. Extensive life testing was accomplished using a variety of contaminants, such as fly ash, grease, silicone spray lube, hydraulic oil, etc., and the Feather Rail tested and passed with flying colors. 

During the operational testing of the machine, the operator inadvertently ran it into a post anchored in solid rock, bending the Feather Rail. However, upon inspection of the Feather Rail, the design engineer of the equipment was pleased to see that none of the ceramic coating flaked off the round raceway section, even in spots where the coating was damaged during installation. This testimonial serves to underscore the versatility and toughness of Feather Shaft and Feather Rail.