Inflatable clamps provide uniformed controlled pressure to firmly bond or laminate pieces together. They can also hold pieces in place during machining/cutting operations. Unlike standard piston-style clamps, an inflatable bladder clamp gives you more design flexibility and allows for:
- A consistent, uniformed pressure along the entire inflatable bladder surface.
- Better control of force - an inflatable clamp's operating pressure and gap (the distance between the bladder and clamping piece) can be varied to optimize force.
- Soft clamping - if the work piece is delicate, an inflatable clamp can be used to prevent potential deformation or to give you the flexibility to vary the pressure applied to the item.
- Conformal clamping - if the part is not perfectly flat or round, an inflatable clamp can compensate for these designs, yet still provide uniformed pressure.
For a more comprehensive understanding of how inflatable clamping technology works along with step-by-step instructions on how to design using inflatable clamps, please reference Machine Design's article entitled “Get a Gentle Grip”
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Custom and Standard Clamps for any Application
Let our 70+ years of experience in the design and manufacture of unique clamping solutions work for your application. Start by selecting one our inflatable clamp options below:
- Pneuma-Seal is our flagship line of inflatable clamps and seals. We offer over 70 profile designs (both extruded, non-reinforced and fabric reinforced) along with thousands of configuration and air connector options. If you need something completely custom or large (i.e. over 20 LF), then check out our Pneuma-Seal line of custom inflatable clamps. Want to speak with someone now? Contact us today to get started.
- Q Inflatable Seals is our new line of build-your-own inflatable seals and clamps. The Q design process allows you to quickly specify the clamp you need, helping you select the appropriate configuration, material, profile (along with dimensional details), and air connector style. Once submitted, we will send off a quote within 24 hours. It’s a great way to quickly get a fully customized clamp built to your specifications. Learn more or start designing your own custom Q inflatable clamp right now.
- Pneuma-Cel is our line of standard fabric reinforced EPDM rubber inflatable bladder clamps. They are readily available in the following sizes: 6”, 8”, 9”, 12”, 18”, and 24”. If none of those lengths fit your application, custom sizes are also available from 4-108” long. An air connector is supplied out one end with a standard ¼” OD polyurethane hose fitting and 1/8-27 NPT connector. Additional connector options include a 6mm OD hose with M8 connector and a ¼” direct connect hose fitting. If needed, a low profile aluminum retainer kit is also available. Find out more about our Pneuma-Cel products today.
Typical Inflatable Clamping Applications
Our inflatable bladder clamps are being used today in many unique applications, including:
Airframe Component Bonding - Inflatable clamps, in series, are used to bond the skin of an aircraft wing together. Force generation and the ability to vary pressure are two key attributes used in this application.
Conveyor Brakes or Stops - Inflatable bladder clamps are used to stop product as it travels along a conveyor and can be placed under the conveyor belt itself to stop the entire line. Our standardized Pneuma-Cel® line of inflatable bladder clamps are a particularly good choice here.
Quick Clamps for Semiconductor Filtering Equipment - Inflatable clamps are used as both a seal and clamp to hold semicon filters in place. If the filters need to be changed, the inflatable clamps are deflated, the filters replaced, and the machine is back on-line within seconds.
For more information regarding proper clamp designs, please review our “Designing with Inflatable Seals” guide or browse our Technical Information section for further details. Want to speak with an expert? Contact us today to get started.