Magnetic chucks make use of the force from a permanent magnet, electro-permanent magnet, or electromagnet. A permanent magnetic chuck, which is the essence of this article, is a chuck tool that uses a permanent magnet to achieve chucking or workholding.
The use of magnets in conjunction with chuck tools has just surfaced in recent years as an alternative to hold work pieces mechanically. One of its key advantages is the reduced setup time and the ability to have access to all sides of the work piece. This type of chuck is especially useful for workholding in surface grinding applications.
Permanent magnets are usually made from ferromagnetic materials such as iron, nickel, cobalt, or even rarer metals like lodestone. Unlike electromagnets, permanent magnets generate a consistent magnetic field without having to borrow any external source of magnetism or electrical power.
Permanent magnetic chucks are manufactured from magnetized materials. They have a constant magnetic field without introducing an electric current. Due to the highly magnetized characteristic, the chucks do not lose the magnetic force. That is to say, the need for any electrical connections, switches, wires, and auxiliary generators to generate a magnetic field is eliminated.
The alignment of magnetic poles can further increase the magnetic force and determine the state of the whole magnet set. And the activation of the permanent magnet can be realized through the physical movement of the poles in the working set. The reliability, safety, convenience, and efficiency make the permanent magnetic chucks the best product in for light duty machining. However, despite the superb functionality of permanent magnetic chucks, they alone cannot fulfill the increasing demands in operations. For instance, if the work piece is too big, the mechanical force may not be large enough to overcome the weight and size.
Magnetic chucks are characterized by consistent gripping and clamping pressure to ensure stability as to how the target object is held. Magnetic chucks grip the central area of the work piece with full support. As mentioned previously, since the work piece can be placed on the plate directly, the time needed to set up is often shorter than that of other chucks. See the outlined benefits of the chuck below:
1. No electrical power needed: Electrical power is not required to power a permanent magnetic chuck. This feature saves workers from the trouble of installing electronic wires. The whole system can be more economical as a result.
2. No heat generated: During the working phase, the chucks do not generate heat. The risk of deformation is thus eliminated. The life of the pole plate and work pieces can then be prolonged.
3. Low level of danger: Since the chucks do not depend on electrical current, power failure in the workplace is less likely to occur, and the risk of pieces being thrown off can be prevented.
Also see some of the disadvantages of the chuck outlined below:
1. Weaker gripping power: Compared to electromagnet chucks and electro-permanent chucks, one of the biggest disadvantages of a permanent magnetic chuck is the weaker gripping power. The magnetic chuck dimensions are less suitable for bigger and heavier objects. It is because the alignment of the magnetic chucks has limitations, which depends on the magnetic force of the material. Typically, the gripping force of a permanent magnetic chuck can provide 20 pounds per square inches.
2. Slower responding time: Since the mechanism of the chuck involves inserting a key into the machine, the responding time is slower as a result. It has to wait for the chucks to align after the key is inserted. If the weight of different work pieces varies a lot, the whole system should provide a quick response in order to deal with the mission. However, the default activating method does not allow such a situation. Thus, the convenience of using permanent magnetic chuck drops.
3. Limited working environment: The magnetic force decreases as its temperature increases. Usually, the components used with permanent magnetic chuck are limited to below 80°C. If the temperature rises during the working process, it is recommended to stop immediately to prevent any hazardous situation from happening.
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