What Are Plate Clamps and How Do They Work?

Plate clamp by Monroe Engineering

When shopping for clamps, you may encounter plate clamps. They don’t feature the same hook-like design as other clamps. Rather, plate clamps consist of a pair of round plates that are secured together. You can use plate clamps in a variety of lifting applications. What are plate clamps exactly, and how do they work?

The Basics of Plate Clamps

Also known as friction gripping lifters, plate clamps are lifting devices that are used to secure, as well as lift, a load in conjunction with a lifting machine.

As previously mentioned, they consist of a pair of plates. You can see an example of a plate clamp in the adjacent photo. Plate clamps have two solid and round plates with a small opening at the bottom.

How Plate Clamps Work

Plate clamps work by securing a load around a set of jaws. The jaws are found at the opening around the bottom of a plate clamp. You can place a chain or other load attachment through the jaws so that it remains inside of the plate clamps. The jaws will secure the attachment while allowing you to lift the load with a machine.

There are different types of plate clamps, but most of them feature a simple design consisting of a pair of heavy-duty plates with jaws at the bottom. It’s important to note that the jaws typically won’t open from the bottom. You can push a load attachment through the bottom of the jaws and into a plate clamp. As the load attachment presses down the jaws, though, the jaws won’t open. The jaws remain closed while ensuring the security of the load.

Benefits of Plate Clamps

Plate clamps offer several benefits. For starters, they are easy to use. You can slide a load attachment into a plate clamp from the opening at the bottom. The opening has a set of jaws that will move to the side when pushed from underneath.

Most plate clamps have a locking mechanism. You can lock the jaws by engaging this mechanism for a higher level of security.

With their dual-plate design, plate clamps can support heavy loads. You should refer to the load capacity when choosing plate clamps. The load capacity is the maximum amount of weight that a plate clamp can safely support. Nonetheless, most of them support heavy loads. You can find plate clamps that support anywhere from 1,000 to over 4,000 pounds.

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