Injected Metal FIXTURBLOK® (IMF) system increases machining rates over 10X

Machining rates on difficult-to-clamp or fragile components can be increased by more than 10X using the FIXTURBLOK® workholding system developed by FisherTech. This unique method of holding components for machining utilizes FisherTech's many years of expertise in precision die casting.

The FIXTURBLOK® workholding system offers cost-effective, high speed machining solutions for components that are sensitive to surface damage (mirror finish), are very fragile or brittle, such as optical lenses or zirconium materials, or can't be subjected to a localized clamping force for other reasons. The FIXTURBLOK® system accommodates very small 25x25x50 mm (1x1x2 inches) difficult-to-hold components to those over two-feet in diameter.

Metal alloy, used as a fixturing medium, encapsulates the component, distributing pressure points across the surface to allow it to withstand the heavy loads generated by high speed machining. Productivity can increase dramatically - as much as 10 times without damage to the component, yet precise dimensional tolerances are maintained.

A variety of nonferrous alloys can be used to form the component retaining block. The choice of tin-bismuth, lead or zinc, which solidify at temperatures ranging from 60°C (140°F) to 380°C (720°F), depends on the machining requirements.

The fixturing metals solidify very quickly, so that the encapsulated component can be moved almost immediately to a machining station. A FIXTURBLOK® retaining block makes an ideal work-piece for robotic handling. After machining, the component is released from the fixturing medium by a simple mechanical operation or a melt-off process. The metals are fully recyclable.