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Vacuum Cup Specifications

Flat cups vs. Bellow cups

If the surface of the part is smooth and flat, a flat vacuum cup is usually the best bet. Flat cups attach and release quickly and because flat cups do not tend to bend out of shape, they hold well on vertical surfaces. If the surface is textured, curved or angled, a bellows cup is usually the best choice. Bellows cups come in a variety of depths which allows them to conform to a wide range of uneven surfaces. Because bellows cups tend to bend out of shape more than flat cups, they sometimes have trouble maintaining a vacuum when gripping heavier, vertical surfaces. Construction techniques such as the ones on the right can help to overcome this problem.

Dual Durometer and PIAB Modular Vacuum Cups are constructed of polyurethane in two different durometers (flexability). The cups have sturdy bellows and a large flexible sealing surface that performs extremely well on uneven surfaces. The polyurethane makes them mark free and long lasting. The dual durometer makes these vacuum cups both strong and flexible.


Properties of different materials

Technical Specifications linked to each of our vacuum cups, and found in our EOAT catalog, provide information on maximum temperatures, flexibility, and shore ratings of different materials. The lower the shore rating, the more flexible the material. The higher the rating, the stiffer the material. Flexible cups are usually best for parts that mark easily or for textured or uneven surfaces. And because they conform to variations in the surface of the part, they tend to form a strong, leak proof, seal. Stiffer cups on the other hand are usually able to support more weight than flexible cups.

Vacuum Cup Materials:

  • ACLA-PU: Long-life, Non-marking, 212° Max. Temperature, 72° Shore Rating.
  • Anti-Static: 356° Max. Temperature, 50° Shore Rating.
  • Chloroprene: 230° Max. Temperature, 50° Shore Rating.
  • EPDM Rubber: 212° Max. Temperature, 48° Shore Rating.
  • Fluorine: 446° Max. Temperature, 65° Shore Rating.
  • Hithane®: Non-marking, High-temperature: 320° Max., Flexible material: 55° Shore Rating.
  • Natural Rubber: 176° Max. Temperature, 53° Shore Rating.
  • Nitrile: Temperature and Shore ratings differ between cups.
  • Polyurethane: Non-marking, Long-lasting, Flexible material. Temperature and Shore ratings differ between cups.
  • Polyurethane (Dual Durometer): Non-marking, Long-lasting, 50°-122° Temperature Range, 60/30° Shore Rating. Dual durometer makes these cups both strong and flexible.
  • Silicone: Long-lasting, High-temperature, Flexible material. Temperature and Shore ratings differ between cups. Not ideal for parts that are going to be painted.
  • PTFE for carbon fiber: vacuum cups do not stick to hot carbon fiber parts up to 480° but also work at lower temperatures. A flexible silicone bellow allows axial and angular movements for part compliance.
  • Viton® (FKM): High-temperature: 446° Max., 65° Shore Rating.

Temperature

Choosing the correct vacuum cup for the temperature of the part can be crucial to the longevity of the cup. Silicone is an excellent low-cost choice, but it can sometimes mark parts. Viton and Hithane are long-lasting, temperature resistant and they do not mark. Polyurethane is best saved for medium temperature applications.
When considering temperature, remember that the maximum temperatures listed in the chart refer to sustained temperatures. Because most applications do not require cups to hold a hot part for long periods of time, the maximum temperature that a cup can be used for can usually be more than that stated in the chart; i.e. a cup that is listed with a maximum temperature of 200º can often be used to grip a part of more than 200º as long as it is for a short period of time.


Cleaning

Vacuum Cup Cleaning

Periodic inspection and cleaning of vacuum cups is critical in extending the life of the vacuum equipment and ensuring proper safety.

Over time vacuum cups can accumulate mold release spray, dust, and debris. This will affect their ability to stick to surfaces and possibly leave marks or residue on finished parts. To maintain a vacuum cup’s function and performance, gently soak and wash the cup with warm water, mild detergent such as Dawn, and a cloth or sponge. Do not to use harsh cleansers or alcohol as they can dry out or deteriorate the vacuum cup’s surface. When the cup is clean, completely rinse them and dry with a towel. Periodic soaking and cleaning can also help restore dried, exposed cups.


A few of our most popular vacuum cups:

Dual Durometer Vacuum Cups

PIAB Duraflex Polyurethane Dual Durometer Vacuum Cups

These cups have a sturdy and “forgiving” bellows (60º shore, green) and a large flexible sealing surface (30º shore, yellow) that performs extremely well on uneven surfaces. 30º shore makes these the most flexible sealing surface cups available. The polyurethane makes them mark free and long lasting. The dual durometer makes these vacuum cups both strong and flexible. Many consider these the best performing polyurethane cup available.

Hithane Vacuum Cups

Hithane Vacuum Cups - Time Proven!

This hybrid non-marking cup combines the high temperature and flexibility properties of silicone with the wear resistance and non-marking properties of polyurethane. It contains no silicone so it is suitable to be used with parts that will be painted. Hithane is designed not to leave residue, mold release marks, or ghost marks on hot, injection molded plastic parts. Available in flat, 1.5 bellow, 2.5 bellow, and oval. Diameter sizes: 5mm-53mm

OEM Vacuum Cups

OEM Replacement Vacuum Cups

Available in Silicone, Polyurethane, Nitrile, and now available in Hithane! Non-branded for OEM applications. A popular design that fits PIAB nipples.

ShorTec Vacuum Cups

ShorTec Dual Durometer Cups

These dual durometer cups in 1.5 and 2.5 bellows offer excellent quality and popular brand name features for a lower price. Made of mark-free polyurethane.

Foam Vacuum Cups

Foam Vacuum Cups

Designed for gripping products with uneven or ridged surfaces such as metal sheets or flat surfaces with bumps or hollows. Available in flat and with 1.5 bellows.