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AMCC has developed the GF Series icing plates, which use the power of ice to hold parts for milling, turning or grinding.

The clamping system is rigid, stress-free on the part and holds parts on a single face.

The company said it is fast and easy to use, and clamps limitless shapes and materials.

Icing plates are particularly effective for machining sintered materials, unfired ceramic (‘green’), ferrite, graphite, and more.

Ice is an excellent adhesive that can grip almost any material, rigid (metal, plastic) or flexible (rubber, neoprene, textile).

On metals, ice has a tensile strength of 214lb/in2, compared to magnets (170lb/in2) or a vacuum (14lb/in2).

It has the additional advantage, when it melts, of being reversible and leaving no residues.

Using these icing plates removes the need for costly, specific assemblies, and there is no more distortion and breakage due to clamping and/or unclamping.

Whatever their shape, fragile parts are held firmly in place and without stress.

The parts held by only one face allows machining access to five faces.

For plastics, freezing increases its rigidity, and thus improves surface condition.

Plate cooling is achieved by means of a patented compressed-air heat exchanger.

On some models, the assembly is driven by a temperature-control pneumatic system.

By utilising the thermal inertia of the icing plate, this control system also conserves compressed air.

Thanks to its compact, mono-block design, GF icing plates are quickly installed.

Users connect the apparatus to the compressed-air system, spray water onto the icing plate, position the part to be machined and then activate the temperature control button.

Within seconds the water freezes and the part is clamped.

Unclamping is done just as quickly by reversing the freeze/thaw valve.

Z-axis repeatability depends only on the surface of congelation because there is no water thickness under the part.

Because the plate evacuates the calories generated by machining, standard lubrication is no longer necessary.

AMCC’s icing plates are used in fields that manufacture delicate parts including medical (IOLs), electronics (ferrites), watch-making, jewellery, and more.

AMCC has several models of GF series icing plates available, according to use, and can customise a solution based on customers’ needs.

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