7 MPa Work Supports
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to use work supports? The basics of 3-2-1 fixture building require that three points define the plane of part location. When machining, a floating location support (work support) is an easy solution to a part requiring additional support for more than the three basic locators. You can use a work support anywhere a "screw jack" can be used. It adjusts faster, without distortion and without dependence on the operator’s "feel". A work support will provide solid adjustable support for parts ranging from fragile circuit boards to massive airplane spars, without inducing distortion. They provide "automatic" adjustment and lock-up giving repeatable, predictable results without the risk of "forgetting" a clamp or the time of manually adjusted alternatives. What is required to use work supports? Work supports will work in most applications where part distortion, chatter, ringing or poor surface finish results are present. Work supports can decrease most of the problems caused by part movement during machining. All you need to use them is an application, space to insert the support, power supply and plumbing. They can work wonders to improve part quality and reduce scrap and rework. Work supports are often used on fixtures where parts are manually clamped but require support. After the plunger is advanced, hydraulic pressure engages a clamping mechanism which locks the plunger and holds it securely against the part. It then becomes a solid support holding the part with the capacity indicated on the appropriate line of the chart (page B-2). Can I use work supports without other hydraulic clamps? Yes, work supports are often used when manual clamps are used. They reduce the dependence on "operator feel," speed operations by locking multiples with a single adjustment and speed load time dramatically even when used with manual clamps to secure the part. In fact, one of Vektek’s most effective applications was one where the part was bolted in place over a tower equipped with several work supports. They supported the inside of a case while the outside was being machined. Our work supports reduced the part loading time from over five hours to just under one hour in this application.
Explain the difference in the two advance types and why I might want to use one over the other. Spring advance is typically used when the part is heavy enough to depress the spring loaded plungers. This can be used on most applications. Fluid advance is used to prevent interference during part load and insures part is properly seated before clamping. What is the "breather port" and can I All 7 MPa work supports require the exchange of air. They will work consistently when allowed to exchange air to and from the atmosphere. What type of part will typically need work supports? Are there any I should avoid? Parts with thin webs, unusual shapes or unsupported structures that must be held within a plane are likely candidates for work supports. There are no parts to be avoided. Cast iron and aluminum parts produce large quantities of fines that can infiltrate cavities and reduce work support life. What about deflection? Deflection is based on Elastic Deformation of materials when loads are applied. All material elastically deforms and it is important to understand that this deflection is not caused by the support slipping or failing. Vektek work supports are designed with selected materials to minimize elastic deformation. Other factors that may affect deflection include: Surface finish, material and contact area of part being supported. In cases were special contact bolts are made, it is important to understand how the shape of the contact surface, along with the material selected, will affect deflection. Deformation values advertised are based on Vektek contact bolts only. plug it or use it for my hydraulic connection?
Can I lay my work support on its side? Normally, yes. As long as you are not using a heavy end effector or unusually side loading your support, the physical orientation should not affect performance. If you have a question about a specific application, please give us a call. I have an interrupted cut that is going to take place over the top of a work support. The forces involved are transmitted directly down on the support. The cutter is a large straddle milling cutter and the cut is interrupted because I am sawing through webs on a cast part. How do I size the work support for this application? Work Support capacities shown in provided charts and formulas are based on static loading. Because of unknown variables (examples: dull tool factors; mild hydraulic pressure fluctuation; cutter vibrations; etc.) work support selection should be made so that the capacity at specified pressure is a minimum of 1.5 times the sum of applied clamping force and machining force. Interrupted machining cuts and pressure spikes can apply severe dynamic loading to the work supports. In cases where dynamic loading is present you should use a support capacity minimum of 2 times the sum of applied clamping force and machining force. Do I need to use a torque wrench and socket when installing cartridge work supports? Yes, a torque wrench and a 6 point socket is required. If you use an open end, adjustable or box end wrench you increase the chances of damaging the work support. Please use an appropriate socket, torque wrench and care when installing cartridge work supports.
© Vektek January 2019
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