Using a vacuum system to hold a part

In summary, a vacuum system is commonly used in industry to prevent parts from becoming marred or dinged up.
  • #1
dingpud
199
1
Has anyone out there used a vacuum system as a vise? We've been tossing the idea around about suctioning a part to a table as opposed to clamping or screwing it down. This will keep the surfaces from becomming marred or dinged up.

Any suggestions, or does anyone know of any sites or systems already doing this?

Not sure if the Venturi pump (aspirator) would be a high enough vacuum pressure system for this or not.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
 
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  • #3
dingpud said:
Not sure if the Venturi pump (aspirator) would be a high enough vacuum pressure system for this or not.
You generally don't need a very high vacuum.
Atmospheric pressure is 15psi or 1kg/cm^2 so this is the most you can achieve. But with 90% vacuum you get 90% of this force.

As Q_Goest said it is very common. A very useful tool for small electronics is a vacuum pick, a little syringe like thing with a vacuum and a release button - it let's you pick tiny parts and put them down precisely.
 
  • #4
This isn't exactly the same thing, but screen printing machines (at least, the one's that I used) have vacuum holes in the table to prevent the vinyl or other substrate from sticking to the ink and being lifted with the screen after a squeegie pass. It works quite well, as long as the holes remain clear of gunk.
 
  • #5
Say I wanted to machine a block of aluminum. Rather than clamp it to a milling table, I want to turn a vacuum on and have the part withstand the friction from the cutter. I can see if being done, and I've heard of people doing things close to this, but I wasn't sure what (if any) the industry standard was...

Ex. 6" x 6" x 2" aluminum where I want to run a quick 1/8" end mill through the center. The chip to chip time (time to machine) should be less than the amount of time it takes to set the part up and clamp it into position...
 
  • #6
Simply picking up the Aluminium would only need 3kg or about 3cm^2 or 0.5 sq in of vacuum.
Holding it against a cutter is a little trickier - you would have to know what sideways force the cutter is applying. Generally vacuum systems don't do that well against sideways loads. To get the vacuum to hold you want the vacuum chuck and the piece it is holding to be nice and flat and smooth - which means they tend to slide around.

It's like when you put down a flat piece of metal onto some oil or water, it's hard to lift it straight up against the air pressure - but it's easy to slide it around.
 
  • #7
Have you considered a magnetic retainer? The surface grinder in my old high-school machine shop used one, and it held like crazy. For a non-magnetic material such as aluminum, you can surround it with steel stop-blocks held by the magnet.
 
  • #8
those are good ideas...I am going to look into those.

thanks
 
  • #9
Cheep solution for vacuum clamps

The cheepest and easiest way to do a vacuum hold down system is to do what I did. I bought clamps from a guy who has been selling them on Ebay for years. Each set is only 25 bucks which is less than what I pay for machine bits. I just ordered his double sided clamps too to try out. The single sided work perfect. Check it out. You can just search Google.com for dcad100. That is his Ebay user name.

Good luck,
Catch you later
 

1. What is a vacuum system?

A vacuum system is a device that creates a low-pressure environment by removing air or gas molecules from a sealed space, allowing for the manipulation and movement of objects within that space.

2. How does a vacuum system hold a part?

A vacuum system holds a part by using suction to create a pressure difference between the environment outside the system and the sealed space within. This pressure difference creates a force that holds the object in place.

3. What types of parts can be held by a vacuum system?

A vacuum system can hold a wide range of parts, including flat and curved surfaces, small and delicate objects, and even irregularly shaped objects. The effectiveness of the system depends on the size, shape, and weight of the part being held.

4. Are there any limitations to using a vacuum system to hold a part?

While vacuum systems are versatile and effective in holding parts, there are some limitations to consider. The surface of the part must be smooth and airtight to create a proper seal. Additionally, the vacuum system may not be suitable for very large or heavy parts.

5. How can I ensure the safety of my part while using a vacuum system?

To ensure the safety of your part while using a vacuum system, it is important to properly calibrate and maintain the system. Regularly check the seals and filters for any damage or wear, and monitor the pressure levels to prevent any accidents. It is also recommended to have a backup support system in place in case of any malfunctions.

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