What is Power Clamping/Power Clamps?
Power Clamps are the power driven work holding clamps that are quick acting, controllable, reliable and operated without fatigue to the operator.
Power clamping is generally done by using hydraulic power or pneumatic power.
Based on this, the power clamping devices are of two types;
- Hydraulic clamps and
- Pneumatic clamps
Why is Power Clamping used?
Power clamping is used to overcome the disadvantages of hand or mechanical clamping devices like;
- Limited clamping pressure
- Variable clamping pressure from one component to other
- More time consumption
- Operators fatigue, etc
Power Clamps overcome all these limitations and they are used for better gripping of heavy workpieces.
Hydraulic and Pneumatic power clamps
In hydraulic and pneumatic clamps the fluid pressure is used to produce the clamping force.
In pneumatic clamping devices, the compressed air is needed for which a compressor, pipe lines, air receiver, etc are needed.
The working pressure for pneumatic clamps ranges from 0.3 to 0.6 MPa.
In pneumatic clamps, the pressure is exerted by the means of piston and cylinder assembly.
In order to clamp and unclamp, the piston should operate in both the directions.
For such regulation of motion, the valves are provided on both the sides of piston. And to control the motion of piston, a valve is provided.
The arrangement of the pneumatic clamping system is shown in the above image.
The hydraulic power clamps have the same principle of operation as that of pneumatic power clamps, but the only difference is the working fluid.
In hydraulic power clamps, the working fluid is the oil.
The oil is pressurized at 0.7 to 25 MPa that generates the clamping force to clamp the workpiece.
The reason of using oil is that it is incompressible fluid and so it exerts high pressure.
The circulation of oil is done into the hydraulic clamping system through an oil reservoir.