Crossed-roller linear guides are based on a non-recirculating linear bearing design in which cylindrical roller bearing elements are oriented in a crisscross pattern. Because the rollers don’t recirculate, these guides provide high load capacity and good stiffness … with smoother motion than recirculating-bearing counterparts. That’s because the rollers don’t suffer from the pulsations that recirculating bearings experience as the balls (or rollers) enter and exit the load zone. Lack of impacts due to recirculating elements also reduces noise generation, making crossed-roller slides noticeably quieter than linear bearings with recirculating elements. One caveat is that crossed-roller linear bearings are limited travel — typically to 1 meter. That’s because the crossed-roller assembly must be twice as long as the maximum stroke of the two guides that move in opposite directions.
In this Design Guide, the editors of Design World detail these considerations as well as the most common variations and applications of crossed-roller linear bearings. Best practices for selection and installation are also presented.