Often, we get many questions about heavy duty glass suction lifters, especially why it isn’t working as well as it used to. Well, this blog post will explain factors that decrease the performance of suction lifters. There are different types of suction lifters for glass and other types of panels as they different by dimensions and capacity. Using the wrong type of suction lifter for the wrong task can be the reason for reduced performance.
One of the most common causes of poor performance of suction lifters is the condition of the vacuum pad itself.
Four factors that decrease the performance of suction lifters
To ensure maximum durability, reliability, and safety of suction cups, the following are factors that should be considered. Although they may seem like daunting problems, maintaining the condition of the pad will go a long way in preserving suction lifters.
Sealing edge damage
What makes suction lifters so effective at lifting delicate panels is their ability to maintain a vacuum. Because the cups are flexible it helps in creating a sealing edge. However, the edges of the cups can be easily damaged by abrasion or cuts from rough surfaces. As such, pay attention to the surface you're placing the suction cup to avoid a situation that can cause irreparable damage to the pad such as drawing the cup across sharp edges, rough surface, or setting the cups in caulk, sealants, or adhesive. Using a heavy-duty glass suction cup with a damaged seal edge is dangerous as it can cause the load to fall.
Before using a suction lifter, inspect the suction cups to remove any debris such as metal shaving, glass chips, dust, and so on. This debris can compromise the sealing edge or damage the surface of the load. When not using the suction lifters, place the cups facing down. Store the suction cups in their case or with a cup pad to help keep the cups clean and out of harm’s way. After carrying a load with a suction lifter, allow air to flow into the system as designed.
The cups of suction lifters are made of different compounds which come with specific advantages. Most of the natural and synthetic rubber in suction cups are there to help handle loads that many contact various chemicals, coatings, and oils. Ensuring the cups on your suction lifter have the correct compound will greatly help improve handling and reduce load damage. Since different chemicals pose different concerns. Some chemicals when exposed to suction cups either through direct contact or through fumes can cause premature wear or failure of these parts. As such, it's important to take note of the properties of the cups.
Most chemicals that cause damage to suction cups are often those intentionally applied as rubber restorers or cleaner. Only in very special circumstances should suction cups be cleaned with soap and mild cleansers. Do not ever make use of petroleum-based solvents, paraffin, or diesel fuel to clean suction cups as these compounds dissolve rubber. Similarly, do not make use of chlorinated solvents such as mastic cleaner or white spirit be used to clean suction cups as this leach the plasticizer from the rubber making it hard. And when rubber becomes hardened, it cracks making it unusable as suction cups. Additionally, always remember that as long as the contact surface of the load of the suction cups is not clean, in good condition, and dry, slippage is more likely to occur.
Another factor that causes a decrease in the performance of suction lifters is the effects of the environment on it. All vacuum cups will inevitably age because of environmental exposure, as such, it is important to inspect them before use. If you notice any vacuum pad is exhibiting stiffness or chemical leaching, replace them immediately to prevent the danger of unexpected release of the load. To make sure the vacuum pads perform at full potential, do not store them or leave the vacuum outside longer than needed.
Environmental factors such as cold, heat, ultraviolet rays (UV), and ozone are present in the atmosphere to a certain degree. These normal environmental conditions can affect the condition of suction cups. This is because suction cups are often made with rubber, and rubber is susceptible to react with these environmental factors. With time these vacuum cups will harden, leach chemical, glaze, or reduce their lifting capacity. As such the suction cup will become harder making it harder to attach the suction cups to the surface of objects or for it to reach full vacuum. And when replacing the suction cups, follow the indication in the product instruction.
Lastly, poor maintenance is the main cause of quick damage to suction lifter cups. But with routine inspection and testing, you can quickly tell when a vacuum cup is damaged and replace it before using. When inspecting vacuum cups, check the rubber cups for stiffness, glaze, films, oil, dust, or any other contaminant that may reduce the performance of the cups. Immediately clean the suction cups if they exhibit any of this problem or replace them if damaged. Using a suction lifter to carry rougher textured surfaces makes maintenance a bit more difficult.
In conclusion, heavy-duty glass suction cups are used day-in and day-out to put a handle or to get a grip on the surface of different materials. As such, these little devices come in handle in building constructors, automobile engineers, amongst other professionals. When suction lifters are properly maintained and cared for, they are tremendously safe, cost-effective, and versatile tools. If you have any concerns or questions about your suction lifters please feel free to contact us for recommendations.