Though small in size and simple in operation, suction cups are one of the best tools ever invented!. Many new buildings pave their walkway or construct their buildings with marble, granite, or concrete slabs. Laying of granite can be difficult. When appropriately applied, they are sturdy, resilient, and will last a long time but can be prone to damage during transportation, placement, and installation gave the weight of the material, which is why it is essential to carry them carefully. Lifting something as heavy as granite is a two-person job. This is not advisable due to many things like work-related accidents, damage to the granite, etc. The best equipment to use for this job is a vacuum lifter. A vacuum lifter uses a vacuum to attach itself to material and is comprised of different components. The suction cup does the most job because it adheres and grips the granite with force to make it stick to the equipment while lifting, transporting, and installing. A suction cup is a tool that uses negative air pressure to attach itself to the material surface.
Granite suction cups
Granites are used in buildings, bridges, and many other exterior projects. They are used indoors as kitchen countertops, tile floors, stair threads, etc. The market offers various granite suction cups; however, this depends on the customer's needs. There are different types of suction cups; flat suction cup, bellows suction cup, and oval suction cup. Suction cups can be manual or pneumatic, I.e., automatic.
Manual suction cups are best in installing, placement, and fixing the granite. In contrast, pneumatic or automatic suction cups are powered electrically using an air pump by factories and workshops to transport granite.
Some granite suction cups possess a single suction cup that does the job. Their loading capacity depends on the manufacturers and brands. Some contain more than one cup, which loading capacity also depends on the manufacturer. Still, most equipments with multiple suction cups tend to bear more weight due to the number of cups.
The diameter of a suction cup determines the holding force of the suction pad and, in turn, determines the duration of attachment, i.e., the period it takes to stick to the material before it releases it. Theoretically, the diameter of a suction cup determines the loading capacity of the equipment.
Components of suction cups
Vacuum generators assist suction cups by providing the required vacuum. It operates either electrically or pneumatically. Electrically powered suction cups are used when there is no available compressed air or when high suction capacity is required.
Vacuum generators make use of compressed air to generate vacuum.
Fittings are a component of suction cups that assist by enhancing their performance. Fittings include ejectors, silencers, vacuum filters, vacuum regulators, etc.
It supports the suction cups by controlling the flow of compressed air and vacuum.
Criteria for selecting suction cups
The manufacturers offer extensive data on various suction cups, the benefits, loading capacity, temperature limits, chemical compatibility, etc. The selection of suction cups is based on
To know the working condition of the suction cup, such as the temperature. Suction cups have different ranges of temperature they work in.
- A suction cup's holding force must not exceed the theoretical holding force, F=∆P × A.
- Where; F= holding force
- ∆P= difference in atmospheric pressure and pressure inside the suction cup
- A= effective suction area
The suction cup's safety factor must be adjusted to the holding force depending on the workpiece's condition, but this differs in its surface. The safety factor for porous materials, i.e., materials with uneven surfaces, is different from those of non-porous materials.
Suction cups are made up of a wide range of materials, e.g., silicone and so on. So, specific materials for the different workpieces.
Different suction cups are suitable for other workpiece surfaces. For uneven surfaces, a bellows suction cup is more convenient.
Benefits of suction cups in the handling of granite
- It prevents damage like cracks, dents, etc., to the materials compared to ropes and clamps. It is placed at the center, firmly grips the material, and supports the load safely to its destination.
- It helps lifts large and heavy granites, thereby reducing stress and fatigue for the construction workers.
- Prevention of accidents. Manual lifting of granite, hefty ones, can be detrimental to you by causing accidents. The use of granite suction cups will make your work efficient and save you an unnecessary trip to the emergency room!
- The use of granite suction cups provides greater security to the materials during transportation.
Maintenance of granite suction cups
- Inspection of suction cups. Always inspect the equipment for any irregularities or mechanical problems before use to avoid accidents or damage.
- Make sure the cups and load surface are dry and free of dirt or obstruction.
- It would help if you also made sure any part of the suction cup that requires lubrication is adequately lubricated.
- Keep the equipment after use in a cool and dry place.
- Prevention of maintenance should be done to avoid future problems.