‘Adhesive’ work-holding system

Posted on 10 Sep 2017 and read 585 times
‘Adhesive’ work-holding system Thames Ditton-based NCMT Fixture Solutions (www.ncmt.co.uk) (Hall 5, Stand G11) will use the show to demonstrate the advantages of the photo-activated adhesive-based fixturing system, Blue Photon, which is suitable for securing awkwardly shaped parts that require tight-tolerance machining and inspection.

The process involves applying an adhesive that is cured by ultra-violet light (via an LED spot-curing system).

The adhesive can subsequently be melted and the machined workpiece removed by immersing the fixture assembly in hot water or by applying another heat source, which should be at 80°C.

Alternatively, the adhesive contact points can be sheared to free the workpiece by rotating the gripper pins in the fixture plate with a spanner.

The use of this fixturing system is predicted to grow rapidly due to its ability to hold components securely with an average shear resistance of 136kg per gripper point, while allowing cutters all-round access for machining on five sides.

Unlike solutions that use magnetic clamping, the Blue Photon system can be used to secure both ferrous and non-ferrous metallic workpieces, as well as ceramics and composites.

For example, Blue Photon can clamp a turbine blade to allow the fir tree and wedge face on the root — as well as the shroud end features at the tip — to be ground in one hit.

Traditionally, due to clamp interference, multiple operations are required when using conventional CNC grinders.

The Blue Photon manufacturing process is not only faster, but it eliminates work-in-progress and the risk of introducing inaccuracy due to repeated re-fixturing.

Tests have shown that the clamping force produced by the system can easily withstand the requirements of machining.

Other advantages of the Blue Photon clamping process are the absence of workpiece distortion, good damping properties to suppress chatter, reduced fixture costs for complex parts, and the elimination of locating lugs on castings.

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