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Coolly clamping composites with ice

At the Aero Engineering and co-located Composites Engineering shows, Leader Chuck Systems (Stand 706) will exhibit technically innovative component workholding and fixturing solutions that are ideally suited to advanced manufacturing industry sectors, such as aerospace, marine, motorsports, power generation, sports and leisure as well as high specification consumer goods.

From the 29 to 30 September 2010, at the NEC, Birmingham, visitors to the Aero Engineering and Composites Engineering shows will be able to see a number of advanced component fixturing methods from Leader, including the novel use of ice to securely hold composite components. The company's stand will feature a range of the award-winning AMCC ice plate solutions, designed specifically to hold delicate and flexible components during machining operations, including grinding, milling and turning.

As the exclusive UK agent for this impressive and unusual technology, which uses a film of ice to firmly secure parts, Leader will demonstrate the advantages of using this fixturing medium. Managing director, Mark Jones, explains: "Visitors will see just how quick and easy AMCC's innovative solutions are to use. Clamping with an ice film allows composite parts to be held rigidly without deflection or distortion, and no mechanical stress is transferred to the part. This makes the technology ideal for grinding, milling and turning aircraft parts, medical implants, motorsports components and other manufactured goods. The technology is also ideally suited to applications where vacuum or magnetic fixturing could not be applied. For instance, when the components have through holes or the material is non ferrous, which includes ceramics, composites and engineering plastics."

Leader can draw on AMCC wealth of experience in the field of freeze-clamping flexible and fragile parts in a production environment. Only a regular shop floor compressed airline is required to operate the unit. A fine spray of water is laid down on the freezing plate and the component is positioned in a jig or specially designed top plate. The 'freeze' cycle is selected on the compact control unit and within seconds the film of water turns to ice, which clamps the component ready for machining. After the machining operation the 'thaw' cycle is selected and the control unit releases the part.

Visitors will also see a range of the high accuracy, productive fixturing and workholding systems from Leader's principals, including Bison, Gamet, Hainbuch and Hewa. And, the company's award-winning MultiChuck MMY will be demonstrated, bringing a host of advantages to the self-centring of round parts on vertical and horizontal machining centres, milling machines and grinders. Allowing rapid clamping and short set-up times due to the inherent rigidity and accuracy of the chuck units, unlike traditional side lock/unlock units, the simple top face operation of the MultiChuck MMY means that the chucks can be tightly packed on to the base plate. This increases the density of the workpieces loaded on the machine's table to maximise the running time of the spindle.

Press release issued by Leader Chuck Systems Ltd. on August 4, 2010


 Contact details from our directory:
Leader Chuck Systems Ltd. Workholding Fixtures, Mandrels, Tooling
Aero Engineering 2010


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