Thame Workholding has built up a wealth of experience providing standard and special workholding solutions to all sectors of industrial manufacturing using vacuum.
In particular the aerospace, medical, motorsport, electronics and precision sub-contracting industries have many successful working vacuum applications supplied by us. We put together a whole system to suit your application which includes vacuum pumps and manifold blocks capable of being wired into the machine control if neccessary. We have different options to deal with coolant intake or filters for abrasive materials.
Vacuum workholding is a highly effective technique for holding thin, irregular shaped or non magnetic parts. Although parts with a large surface area are ideal, as the holding force is also large, there are also techniques for holding small parts. Vacuum workholding can be applied in milling, turning, grinding and drilling applications.
Vac-Mat fixtures transfer the vacuum to many suckers on a replaceable synthetic mat. Each sucker helps to hold the part flat against the fixture. The mat can be cut into by the milling tool to finish machine the edges or produce a window or pocket on the part. The entire mat does not need to be covered as it still maintains the holding power when up to 50% is exposed.
Grid plates are suitable for batches of rectangular or square parts which have no through holes, especially where a high degree of parallelism is required. The work piece is clamped to the fixture by the vacuum created within the sealed grid pattern area; this fixture will accept heavier machining then most other types of vacuum fixtures. Standard and special size grids are available.
Sintered metal and Metapor fixtures have a porous surface area made out of sintered bronze, ceramic or porous aluminium depending on the work piece type and application. Metapor© opens up a new perspective for different vacuum clamping solutions.
Rotary vacuum chucks offer a wide scope of application for thin-walled parts as well as aluminium and plastic parts, etc. without causing distortion or clamping marks. Systems can be designed for CNC turning machines, grinding machines and lathes with through spindles. Rotary chucks can, if required, go up to 6000rpm.