Vertical Guidance Systems


When testing components in the vertical test axis it is important to be aware of the cross-axis restraint capabilities and load support capacities of your shaker’s internal and external guidance and load support systems. Exceeding the capacity of these guidance and load support systems can cause serious damage to your shaker and to your test specimen.

Baughn Engineering has developed several types of guidance systems which can be used in conjunction with our standard magnesium head expanders or vertical test fixtures. Standard designs are also available to provide guidance for our customer’s existing head expanders and vertical test fixtures.


Baughn Engineering offers a complete line of vertically guided head expander systems. There are 4 basic guidance systems available, depending upon the cross-axis load or moment restraint requirements need to meet our customer’s test specifications. These guidance systems provide additional cross-axis restraint to protect the shaker’s armature and internal guidance components. All guidance systems are available with integral airbag load support for testing large test articles that exceed the shaker’s load carrying capabilities.


Our original, uniquely designed, hydrostatic pad bearing guidance system, in combination with the shaker’s internal guidance system, restrains large side moment loads using high-pressure hydrostatic pad bearings. The one-piece welded steel frame design provides the necessary strength and stiffness required for high load applications while maintaining a compact overall size.

The frame, bearing, and head expander assembly can be sealed for cleanroom applications, as shown on page 5 of our catalog.

An optional airbag load support system is available to re-center the shaker’s armature when large, heavy test articles are mounted to the head expander. Stroke limitation and special lockout devices are incorporated into the system to prevent overloading of the shaker. A secondary airbag load support system is available for those shakers with isolated trunnions.


The “Verti-Line” Guidance System provides maximum moment restraint for large shaker systems with up to 3.0″ stroke capacities. The system, developed by Baughn Engineering, utilizes two large capacity hydrostatic journal bearings positioned directly above the shaker armature. The magnesium head expander surrounds the bearings for maximum stiffness and dynamic response. The head expanders and guidance system can be easily removed to allow for horizontal testing.


Provides basic guidance for off-center loads using laminated and wrapped leaf flexure assemblies. These systems generally use four sets of two each flexures mounted at 90 degrees to one another. The flexures are supported by a steel frame structure which attaches directly to the lab floor or to the shaker body. An integrated airbag load support system is available.


Provides basic guidance using a compact space saving design. These bearings function without lubrication and provide a clean, simple method of guidance. They are ideally suited for cleanroom and ‘squeek and rattle’ testing. An integrated airbag load support system is available.