What’s Photo-Activated Adhesive Workholding?

Photo-activated adhesive workholding can simplify clamping of complex-shaped parts and provide increased tool access during five-axis machining operations.

Photo-activated adhesive workholding can simplify clamping of complex-shaped parts and provide increased tool access during five-axis machining operations.

Strolling the aisles of IMTS offers an opportunity to discover atypical manufacturing technologies. When you find yourself in the West Hall, venture to Booth W-1392 to learn about one such workholding example offered by Blue Photon Technology & Workholding Systems (Shelby, Michigan).

The company’s booth theme is “Become a Workholding Hero,” highlighted by a huge a comic strip mural (about the size of a billboard) on its conference room structure that illustrates the challenges engineers and designers face when addressing complex workholding issues. The Blue Photon System is one way to mitigate those issues, using devices such as vises and clamps that a machine shop likely already has.

The Blue Photon System is photo-activated adhesive workholding solution designed to simplify fixturing for delicate and complex-shaped machined ceramic or metallic parts, including castings. It also offers increased cutting tool access for five-axis machining operations. Primary components include an ultraviolet light source with a light guide, a specially developed workholding adhesive, and grippers that act as lenses through which the UV light passes to cure the adhesive and bond the part to the fixture.

The system is compatible with many workholding platforms. In fact, the company displays how it works in tandem with fixturing components from Erowa, Te-Co, Raptor and Mpower. Once machining is completed, the mechanical adhesive bonds are simply broken and the workpiece can be removed from the fixture.

Originally written for the IMTS Show Daily.