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Description of Technology

The Photo-activated Adhesive Workholding System includes a system of components that enable a work-piece to be held within a manufacturing fixture using a photo-curable adhesive. This fixture is the mechanical system that holds the work-piece.  Like a conventional fixture, it utilizes hard contact locators to register the work-piece.  However instead of clamps, it utilizes mechanical-optical components called grippers.  The grippers serve as anchor pads on to which the adhesive is deposited and the work-piece is adhered.  The grippers also serve as the optical conduit through which curing light is transferred to the adhesive.

Using this technology, a work-piece can be bonded to a fixture, on demand, in less than a minute.  Furthermore the solidification of the adhesive exerts minimum stresses on the work-piece.  The technology allows work-pieces to be held with maximum rigidity, maximum accessibility to the manufacturing process, and minimum pre-load distortion.

1. A fixture holds a work-piece using hard contact locators and a system of adhesive joints.

workholding01.jpg

 


2. The fixture incorporates load-bearing light guides called gripper pins, contained within fixture elements called grippers. Grippers screw into the fixture and come in two types:

  • Standard - screws in from the top
  • Twist Off - screws in from the bottom

 


3. The work-piece is adhered to the grippers using a photo-curable adhesive.


4. The adhesive is photo-cured via UV light delivered by a spot lamp and light guide. Light guides vary in terms of core technology, core diameter, number of poles, and cost.


5. Different combinations of light guide and gripper size yield different adhesive joint strengths.

workholding05.jpg


6. The work-piece is de-bonded from the fixture by either: