- The perimeter of the air caster footprint
- The floor surface texture
- The amount of load carried by the air caster
When an air bearing is carrying its rated load and riding on an excellent floor surface, the required air consumption for good operation is 1 SCFM (standard cubic feet per minute) per foot of air bearing perimeter. An excellent floor surface is considered to have a smooth texture equivalent to sheet steel, smooth epoxy or machine troweled concrete with a polished finish. The surface is absent of any pits, cracks or other defects.
The required air consumption for good operation of an air caster, carrying a capacity load on an average floor surface, is 3 SCFM per foot of perimeter. An average floor surface is considered to have a texture equivalent to that of steel plate with minor flaking of mill scale, good concrete with minor pit scratches and hairline cracks or epoxy with an “orange peel” texture.
The required air consumption for acceptable operation of an air bearing, carrying a capacity load on a slightly rough floor, is 5 SCFM per foot of perimeter. A slightly rough floor feels rough to the hand; however, it is much smoother than a broom-finished concrete texture. Broom-finished concrete is unacceptable for air bearing use.
The required air consumption for an air caster is also proportional to the amount of load it is carrying. Therefore, an air caster operating at half its rated capacity will require approximately half of the air flow required to operate at full capacity.
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