Is polymer concrete a material that will change the face of CNC machining? Discover our lightweight clamping systems

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At JG Group, we have created lightweight HUMM MULTI clamping systems made of polymer concrete. By using this material, we managed to reduce the weight by 45% and improve the vibration damping properties. HUMM MULTI modular strips facilitate the assembly and disassembly of elements and allow the installation of more elements at the same time. Is polymer concrete a material that will change the face of CNC machining?

The history of polymer concrete

The development of HSC (High Speed ​​Cutting) technology and the growing requirements in the context of dynamic and static stiffness of cutting machines have resulted in changes in their design. All to increase resistance to vibrations and thermal effects, as well as reduce material consumption and optimize working time.

These requirements are more or less related to the bodies. In this context, it was discovered that polymer concrete has optimal values ​​that meet all the requirements. The additional advantage is its low weight compared to steel and cast iron. By analyzing the properties of polymer concrete, can it be concluded that it will work well in the construction of vises and clamping systems? We decided to check it out.


The concept of creating HUMM MULTI

In the work of CNC machine operators, you can often come across the opinion that they need lighter clamping systems. In most cases, they have to do the assembly and disassembly of the vise themselves. Move the vise from the warehouse/shelf to the CNC machine several times, then lean in and secure it properly. Sounds like a challenge considering the importance of current solutions. Such assembly is demanding and tiring. Of course, it’s not only about weight, but it is the cause of most problems. Operator fatigue and difficult assembly of a heavy system can significantly extend the time needed to prepare the machine for work. This has nothing to do with ensuring high company productivity. And yet this is currently a big challenge faced by companies using CNC machines.

At JG Group, we wanted to use the good properties of polymer concrete, which is not used in such structures. We have developed the first clamping system available on the market, the body of which is made of a mixture of steel and polymer concrete. What does it mean? The internal steel rods are responsible primarily for the reinforcement and stability of the structure, while the remaining space was filled with polymer concrete.

The table below shows a comparison of the properties of steel and polymer concrete. Steel is currently the most commonly used material in tools such as lightweight clamping systems. The table does not include cast iron, but it is a material that is used less and less often in such structures. Already from the first line you can see the difference in weight when using polymer concrete. The material has a lower compressive strength, but the clamping bars have a lower clamping force compared to 5-axis vises. This parameter is not so important in this case. However, if the machining is to be precise, in addition to a stable clamp, vibration-damping properties are important. As you can see in the table, polymer concrete has much better damping – over 10 times!

Table 1. Comparison of the properties of steel and polymer concrete.

PropertiesUnitsSteelPolymer concrete
Compressive strengthN/mm²205-1200140-170
Flexural strengthN/mm²400-160025-40
Logarithmic damping decrement0,0020,02-0,03

Properties of HUMM MULTI and advantages of using polymer concrete

The first and most important parameter is the weight of our mounting system. We managed to reduce the weight of the entire strip by 45% compared to a strip made of steel only. Thanks to their excellent vibration dampening properties, HUMM MULTI systems have gained an additional advantage over classic vises.

Such a high weight reduction allows us to prepare systems which bodies are much longer, thus enabling the assembly of several elements to be processed simultaneously. HUMM MULTI is a modular system that allows simultaneous processing of more elements. All this to optimize and facilitate the work of the machine operator.

As in the case of HUMM CLAMP 5-axis centric vises, we used several types of jaws and inserts that can be replaced separately and configured according to the operator’s needs at a given moment. Additionally, the jaws are mounted using one mounting screw. In this way, the employee can easily and quickly loosen the screws and change the jaw spacing while working.

If you looking for clamping systems, check the HUMM MULTI series on our website.