A clamping stud is a piece of metal shank with threads on the two ends of it. It is a fundamental accessory used to fix a component onto the machinery. The clamping studs are usually used with T nuts to hold parts in place, or they can be tightened into the threaded holes in the surface of the part they are to fix. Based on the machinery that requires these tiny accessories for clamping, the clamping studs can also be installed directly into a fixture plate. Clamping studs are also called fixture studs or threaded studs.
Clamping studs as the industrial grade fixture component are required to have a high tensile strength property so that these components are able to handle heavy loads or torque forces while maintaining the clamping force at the same time. Therefore, the clamping studs are mostly made from high-strength metal materials such as stainless steel, mild steel and other steel-based alloys. With the high-strength characteristic, clamping studs are often implemented to clamp parts in extreme working environments such as CNC machining centers, engines or vehicle wheels where high temperature and heavy loads are involved.
T nuts are also known as T slot nuts. They are a type of clamping accessories that are commonly involved in machinery. Though seemingly insignificant, T nuts in fact play an important role in multiple applications from general purpose machinery assembly to the construction of high complexity structures. They are typically threaded internally and have a flat flange at one end which gives these fasteners a T shape.
Similar to clamping studs, T nuts are mostly made from high-strength materials such as steel. The use of T nuts requires pre drilled holes and a couple setups so that the clamping studs can be threaded into a part. Nonetheless, clamping studs can work with fixtures with already-threaded holes where the T nuts are not needed. A fixture plate is an example of the fixture with threaded holes.
Fixture plates are the other type of fixture that clamping studs commonly work with. A fixture plate is also called a tooling plate or a modular fixture. This type of clamping device is used primarily on a CNC machining center. On a fixture plate, there is a grid of threaded holes for the clamping studs to screw in. With the fixture plate, fixtures can be located anywhere on the plate based on the pattern of the threaded holes.
Fixture plates are mounted on to the working table of a CNC mill or a CNC turning center so that work pieces can be clamped onto the table. There will be marks on the plate in numbers and letters for the machinists to refer to for locating purpose. The installation of fixture plates, however, involves T nuts. The fixture plates can be made from steel-based materials of non-ferrous metals such as aluminum.
Clamping studs are used rather frequently in machinery assembly to bond parts together. One of the most common applications of clamping studs is in engine assembly. In engine assembly, the clamping studs serve as the vital and fundamental link that secures all the parts together from the engine housing to the gears. In almost every type of performance applications or heavy-duty applications, the use of studs is favored over main cap bolts for securing parts.
In high performance applications, such as in engines, clamping studs provide the ability to attain more accurate torque values for they do not twist as the bolts do when being tightened; they only stretch in one axis and therefore offer more even and accurate clamping force. In addition, clamping studs cause less wear to the threads and thus prolong the lifespan of the threaded holes. With these traits, studs are preferred over other types of fixtures.
The use of clamping studs is necessary since they can effectively reduce and avoid the chance of losing clamping force. The loss of clamping force results in a number of negative outcomes such as bolt hole cracks, circumferential cracks on mounting areas, burrs around bolt holes, nuts cracks, and more. Once any of these scenarios takes place, the machinery is damaged and critical function failure is hence inevitable.
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