
The basic science of vacuum clamping involves the
atmosphere. Essentially all atmosphere from beneath the workpiece is removed.
The atmosphere above and around the workpiece is what actually holds it in
place. At sea level, the atmosphere provides 14.7 psi of
holdown force. However, for every 1000 feet of elevation you lose about .49 psi
of holdown force. For example, a workpiece held down by a 12” x
12” square area would effectively have 2116.8 lbs of hold down force at sea
level. Vacuum is measured in inches of mercury (hg). A
perfect vacuum is 30 inches of mercury (30 hg) but the maximum we can draw is
29.92Hg at sea level under perfect conditions. See the following table for
examples.
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