Coated Surfaces - Can You Handle It?

by Jake Knaub
Operating Instructions specify the weight your Wood's Powr-Grip® lifter can handle. However several things can affect the load capacity of a below-the-hook vacuum lifter. For example, the capacity is calculated for materials with clean, dry, smooth, nonporous surfaces and a friction coefficient of 1. If your material does not satisfy these conditions, including dry and clean, the vacuum lifter will have a reduced lifting capacity. However, the previously mentioned conditions are not the only things that can reduce load capacity. Coated glass (and similar surfaces) can affect the vacuum seal and friction coefficient. As a result, it is important to test particular vacuum pads on a coated surface, to make sure the lifter's capacity is still up to the task. A Surface Suitability test is found in the Operating Instructions to aid your evaluation. Another thing to be aware of when handling coated glass is the potential for damage during the vacuum lifting process. Although WPG vacuum pads will not damage most surfaces, coated glass can be especially delicate. Due to the large number of coatings available, many of which are proprietary, Powr-Grip cannot certify or guarantee results for particular surfaces. Some things to consider in these specific applications are the sensitivity of the coating to pressure and the chemical compatibility between vacuum pads and the coating. Soft coatings can actually be deformed by the pressure exerted by vacuum pads, and in some conditions, these deformations may become visible. Chemical compatibility is not a simple issue because rubber is generally mixed with a number of compounds, including curing agents and processing chemicals. If you are handling sensitive, coated surfaces, Powr-Grip's Coating Compatible Vacuum Pad may be the solution. We also have a Textured Surface Pad that can be useful in lifting painted and silk-screened glass. If you would like to learn more about coated surfaces and our specialized pads, please visit the Woods Powr-Grip Authorized Dealer nearest you or contact one of our Technical Sales Representatives.
Jake Knaub is a Staff Writer at Wood's Powr-Grip. He researches, prepares, and edits materials for publication.