Like suction cups, industrial vacuum cups stick to smooth, non-porous surfaces like plastic, metal and glass. The cups are typically made from rubber, which gives them long-lasting durability and good surface contact with the materials they grip. This sure grip allows you to handle fragile objects like sheet glass or appliances with confidence.
Because they're good for such a wide variety of lifting and stabilizing applications, vacuum cups come in a daunting variety of styles, sizes, compounds and shapes. Fortunately, this flexibility allows you to choose the perfect cup for your needs. When you decide to buy vacuum cups, keep these following characteristics in mind:
1. Vacuum cups are available in an extremely wide range of sizes.
2. A vacuum cup's shape has a large influence over its lifting power.
3. Cup connectors also come in many different designs, enabling you to match your suction hoses and support cables to the proper corresponding cup.
4. Many manufacturers can design custom cups to your exact specifications.
Determine what size vacuum cup best fits the objects you're going to handleBecause of their greater surface area (and thus sticking power), larger industrial suction cups have higher gripping power than smaller ones. Along with its shape, a vacuum cup's size is a primary determinant of its lifting capacity. Choosing a sufficiently large cup for your loads is essential for maintaining the productivity and safety of your workers.
Choose a vacuum cup shape that matches your load weightThe standard vacuum cup is circular in shape with a smooth, flat gripping surface. These work well for light lifting, but to hoist heavier loads you'll need a different design. Of all the available shapes, cleated and oval cups boast the highest lifting capacities. If you need a cup that works on curved surfaces, consider the bellows shape, which bends to accommodate different surface contours.
Make sure the connectors on your suction cups match your vacuum pump's tubingUnlike traditional suction cups, vacuum suction cups normally need a pump to establish their low internal atmospheric pressure. Even if your cup's shape, compound and size are perfect for your application, it won't work without a tightly-sealed connection to the pump itself. If a pump isn't available for you to use, consider buying cups with self-pressurizing handles. These are appropriate for lifting loads without mechanical assistance.
- Contact your vacuum cup vendor to determine what rubber compound would best suit your needs. Cups come in literally dozens of different rubbers and elastomers, and choosing the right one is a technical but vital part of the buying process.