Way Covers and Shields Information

Way covers and way shields are machine tool accessories used to protect the rail or way of a machine from contamination and abrasive cuttings. Way covers come in two common styles: bellows type and telescoping type. There are three types of bellows. They are a sewn bellow, a molded bellow, and an RF molded bellow. A sewn bellow is made from a series of stamped annular rings, which are sewn together to form the individual convolutions. Molded bellows and radio frequency (RF) welded bellows are ideal for a broad range of applications and have a temperature range of -60 to +225F. Telescoping steel way covers are made from rolled high-grade steel sheets from 1.5 mm to 3 mm thick. Corrosion-proof stainless steel can be used for extreme conditions such as aggressive coolants. Depending on the fittings, speeds of up to 100 m/min can be attained by steel covers of all shapes. A telescoping steel way cover comes in many shapes. Examples include flat, roof-shaped, slope, flat roof, pent roof, vertical, and cross rail. Other way covers and shields are commonly available.


Way covers and way shields are designed for precision ball screws, splines, and ball bushings to protect them from harmful abrasive particles to maintain their accuracy and efficiency. When a bellows cover is placed on either side of the nut or bushing it completely seals out dust, dirt, and chips. During the covering operation, air passes from one cover to the other through the ball nut or ball bushing. A bellows cover is manufactured from a variety of elastomer and elastomer-coated fabrics for any type of application or environmental condition. Methods of construction include stitched, molded, vulcanized, and heat sealed. A machine way cover is designed for specific machine tool protection requirements utilizing a variety of constructions, sizes, and fabrics in horizontal, vertical and/or crossrail applications. A linear rail cover is used in various construction methods and materials to protect linear rails and ways from dust to weld spatter. Way covers and shields are designed and manufactured to meet most industry specifications.


Way covers and way shields are used in many applications. Examples include standard-duty applications, spark-resistant applications, heavy-duty spark, and extended wear applications. Way cover suppliers supply way covers and shields for such applications. Way covers and shields should adhere to various standards specified by the International Standards Organization (ISO).

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