Plate Clamps - The Easy Way To Handle Sheet Materials

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Published: 06th August 2012
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This publication explains the differences between the varied varieties of plate lifting clamps, and will have a look at how they operate and also various main benefits.

So, what exactly is a plate clamp? The answer to this question is simple, a plate clamp is a piece of equipment which is intended explicitly for lifting and handling sheet materials like large sheets of steel for instance. You will discover differing types available, the commonest ones are the vertical and horizontal plate clamps that lift the sheet materials in their respectively named position, universal hinged plate clamps may also be found which incorporates both of the aboves properties.

Within both the vertical and horizontal plate clamps ranges you can find differing models suited to different applications, some types are best for lifting thin sheeting, or might have more adaptable jaws, some are hinged and there are a few models for extra heavy purposes with hard steel jaws; you can also get models which are identified as non-marking, these tend not to make any marks on the steel due to their special protective jaws. There is pretty much a model suited to the majority of applications.

Now let us take a more in-depth look at each kind, to begin with the vertical plate clamp.

A plate clamp of the vertical variety is utilised to lift and move sheet steel vertically therefore will require a good amount of headroom if the sheets are big. Often two or more clamps are widely used at the same time to prevent bending and/or sagging of thin materials, but if you are thinking of utilizing several then you should also use a spreader beam to make sure the sheeting is evenly balanced. The solid design of the clamps housing holds the 2 jaws, used to grip the steel sheet, one jaw is unchanging in position on standard versions, with the second able to manouevre into place to firmly grip the steel resulting from its spring loaded cam. The clamping force of the jaws should be 2x the weight of the sheet material. Furthermore it is worth noting that the plate clamp must be able to withstand a static load of two times the safe working load limit with no damage to the sheeting, it also needs to be able to hold three times the safe working load without dropping the load.

The Horizontal plate clamp

Horizontal plate clamps are always utilised in pairs to transport single or multiple sheet materials in the horizontal position although some models can be utilized singly for lifting .. The same as with the vertical clamp they incorporate two jaws. They are regularly utilised attached to a chain sling and the clamping strength comes from the weight of the load through the chain sling’s legs, the amount of clamping force is dependent on the angle of the sling legs as well as the weight of the load, so it is crucial for the weight of the load is evenly spread as well as consistent with the centre of gravity from the centre lifting point of the sling. A short piece of plate may be easily lifted with 2 plate clamps placed centrally, since the force within the sling legs has a horizontal element and, since the plate is only supported at its sides, this tends to bend the plate inwards over its width, therefore if bigger pieces of plate material need to be lifted it is typically necessary to make use of 4 or more clamps , together with a spreader beam for an even balance and stability , particularly if the material is thin and supple since it could easily sag and therefore deform.

Hinged or universal plate lifting clamps can permit longer sheet materials to be handled, with hinged hook rings they can be used for handling plate at a variety of angles. It could actually lift plate from the horizontal position and placed down in the vertical position or visa versa. The hinged hook ring ensures the required gripping force in every position, but the load capacity is lowered.

Plate clamps are not only excellent at lifting sheet materials but additionally cost efficient because they are straightforward to service and repair due to their interchangeable elements. It is wise to use an experienced lifting gear company to perform any repairs so that testing can be administered and a safety compliance certificate re-issued for your records.

Nikki Dale works for the Lifting Gear Direct group which incorporates Lifting Equipment ltd and
We have been supplying many types of lifting equipment to trade and industry for many years and our team are highly knowledgeable and experienced where lifting gear products are concerned.

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