What Is a Bridge Clamp? Get the Facts

Bridge clamp by Monroe Engineering

Hydraulic clamps are commonly used to hold and secure workpieces. As their name suggests, they leverage hydraulic pressure to press against a workpiece. Hydraulic pressure is achieved with liquid, such as oil. There are different types of hydraulic clamps, however, one of which is bridge. If you’re looking to buy a hydraulic clamp, you may want to choose bridge clamp.

Overview of Bridge Clamps

A bridge clamp is a type of hydraulic clamp with a rocker arm that clears the workpiece on every cycle. As shown in the photo above, they look like most other hydraulic clamps. Bridge clamps have a rocker arm that, when engaged, will push against the workpiece.

How Bridge Clamps Work

Bridge clamps feature a control valve-activated piston. After placing a workpiece in a bridge clamp, you can use the control valve to activate the piston. The control valve will engage the rod-like piston, which in turn will push the rocker arm forward.

As the rocker arm moves forward, it will press against the workpiece while subsequently holding and securing it in place. Touching the control valve a second time will return the rocker arm back to its original, relaxed position.

Reasons to Choose a Bridge Clamp

Why should you choose a bridge clamp? Bridge clamps are powerful. The rocker arm, for instance, can exert thousands of pounds per square inch (PSI) of force.

Bridge clamps make loading and unloading workpieces a breeze. The rocker will clear the workpiece on every cycle. As a result, bridge clamps are commonly used to streamline manufacturing and machining processes. You can use a bridge clamp to automate a variety of manufacturing and machining applications.

Bridge clamps are also easy to mount. You don’t have to mount them with complicated brackets. Most bridge clamps feature a single-bolt mounting system. You can mount a bridge clamp using a single bolt.

While strong, bridge clamps are relatively lightweight. The PowRslide bridge clamp shown in the photos above weighs just 13 pounds. Coming in at just 13 pounds, it’s easy to transport. You can move it to different places, and you can mount it with a single bolt.

In Conclusion

There are different types of hydraulic clamps. For manufacturing and machining applications, bridge clamps are one of the most popular types. They are powerful, feature an automatically clearing rocker arm, easy to mount and are lightweight.

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