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Hard jaws are the jaw units that are installed on the jigs, chucks, and vises for the clamping of tools and work pieces’ tightening works. There are two types of jaws, and one is the hard jaws and the other is the soft jaws. Both jaws are widely used in the industrial applications. The hard jaws are mostly used to clamp the work pieces with certain materials that can be hold by hard materials that will not make scratches and other harmful effects unto the clamped work pieces.
Meanwhile, soft jaws are the clamping jaws that are designed specifically not to make any scratches unto the work pieces that may be less hard regarding the hardness values, so that the soft jaws on the discs or chucks would not cause further scratches to the work pieces. According to the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, there are ten levels regarding the hardness of the mineral materials. So when one work piece to be clamp is not as hard as the clamping jaws, the clamping action may cause further scratches and unnecessary problems to the whole process, leading to failures.
Hard jaws on jigs and clamping mechanisms are one of the most critical accessories for machine tool machining process because the fixture effects they provide offers the possibility for further machining process. Machine tool jigs’ jaws are more like hooks that claw on the targets firmly with the jaws.
Hard jaws are also applied to chuck and cylinder mechanism. Spindles and chucks and the corresponding hydraulic cylinders are also well developed as the fastening units. As the oils in the cylinder flow in the tubes and channels, the chucks would work the way it is planned, and the installed jaws would go close to hold the work pieces with the inward force and then the work pieces or tools are thus clamped firmly in the right place. This mechanical clamping force gives the mechanism very steady clamping mechanism as long as the hydraulic mechanism works well. When the electricity is off or the hydraulic mechanism does not work well, the hard jaws may loose and then the clamping force would go wrong. There is another clamping method, the magnetic method. Magnetic Chuck is one of the most critical accessories for especially grinding machine tools because the magnetic fixture capability they provide offers the possibility for further machining process.
Hard jaws are also used in vises, or vices. In the metal working industry, a vise or vice is a mechanical apparatus utilized to secure a work piece object in order to allow works to be processed on it. Vises have two parallel jaws, one fixed and the other movable, threaded in and out by a screw and lever. Although wood working also uses vises, here in the present article we only talk about metal working vises. Machine vises are mounted mostly on machining centers, drill presses, grinding machines and milling machines. While in turning machines, chuck and cylinders are the standard accessories for the similar purpose. Abrasive chop saws have a special type of machine vise built into the saw. Moreover, there are a variety of magnetic vises that also works the same purpose to hold work pieces in order to secure the machining duties to be done.
No matter what the fixture measures are, be it jigs, chucks, or vises, they are all measures operators use to ensure the work pieces (or tools) be held firmly on the place they should be. This is just one part of the whole metal working processes which involves not only the clamping but also other complicated processing steps. However, the hard jaws, though a small component shall be taken into serious considerations with other processing variables in order to coordinate the whole machining things.
Onsite operators shall take all the components into considerations as one integrated thing, so that all the variables can work together to reach the eventual goal of well processing. In the era of smart manufacturing, all components count, each part counts. It is important to know that, each small component has their own influence and all the working accessories are the combination of all the parameters as well as the constants. Users need to treat all of them with serious attitude and make the best use of each hard jaw.
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