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Workholding Frequently Asked Questions
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1. How powerful is the system's holding force?
2. What types of parts can I hold?
3. Compared to other systems, how does the SmartVac II measure up?
4. I have an odd shaped part with a bunch of holes. How do I hold it?
5. My part is larger than 9.5" x 14". Can I still use the system?
6. Where can I purchase a SmartVac II Workholding System?

For general vacuum workholding information, please visit www.vacuumchuck.com/tutorials.

1. How powerful is the system's holding force?
The short answer - Multiply a part's surface area by 14 to find the downward holding force in pounds.
The long answer - The holding power of any vacuum chuck system is measured by the amount of air it can remove from under a part. You'll see this air pressure measured as "Inches of Mercury" or "Hg and measures about 30" Hg at sea level. A perfect vacuum is when all the air pressure equals 0" Hg. It is nearly impossible to create a perfect vacuum on Earth however the SmartVac II draws a 93% or 28" Hg vacuum. This is equal to 14 psi.
This means a 6" x 6" part having 36" of surface area will be held with a force of 504 pounds (36sq.in. x 14psi = 504lbs).

2. What types of parts can I hold?
The perfect part has a large surface area and with a small thickness cross section. Materials can range from plastics to metals. Harder materials can increase side loads during cutting which can slide a part off the chuck so lighter feedrates and depths of cut should be observed. One tip to overcome part movement is to sandwich a piece of 220 grit sandpaper between the chuck and the part to increase friction.

3. Compared to other systems, how does the SmartVac II measure up?
The SmartVac II VCU draws a vacuum equal to or greater than convential vacuum pumps. Plus, the system is low maintenance since it does not require filters or coolant traps. Other systems require an electrically powered pump where the SmartVac II runs off a small amount of compressed air. The chuck portion of the system has multiple vacuum inlets allowing up to nine individual parts to be held simultaneously (5 parts for the 13.5" x 13.5" chuck) where other systems only hold one part at a time. Pricewise, the system is far less expensive to purchase and maintain than traditional systems.

4. I have an odd shaped part with a bunch of holes. How do I hold it?
This is easily done by attaching a Top Plate to the chuck surface and milling a gasket groove just inside the part's perimeter. Any through holes in the part need to have gaskets around them so the vacuum isn't lost when a cutter breaks through the bottom surface of the part.

5. My part is larger than 9.5" x 14". Can I still use the system?
Yes! The SmartVac II is perfectly suited to handle large parts. Multiple bases can be setup adjacent to each other using a Twin Base Kit. This kit contains everything needed to chain multiple bases together and operated by one VCU.

6. Where can I purchase a SmartVac II Workholding System?
All of our products can be purchased directly through us. This allows us to establish a close relationship with our customers and provide the best applicaton advice possible. Please visit our workholding store or give us a call to place an order at (800) 352-2894. We accept all major credit cards and company checks.

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