Tuesday, December 29, 2009

GN 816 and 816.1 Steel Locking Plungers

Here are our latest featured products, a pair of indexing plungers from our broad selection: our series GN 816 and GN 816.1 Steel Locking Plungers.

These plungers have a threaded body of zinc-plated, blue passivated steel, stainless steel plunger pin and spring, and zinc-plated steel lock nut. The knob and sleeve are technopolymer plastic (Polyamide PA), black matte finish, and are not removable. The plungers are RoHS compliant.

For the 816 version, in the rest position the pin of the plunger protrudes. To retract the pin, pull the knob up against the spring force to the final position and turn it 90° to lock the pin in the retracted position. For the 816.1 plunger, in normal position the pin is retracted. To make the pin protrude, push down to the final position and turn 90° to lock the pin. For both, a type with key is also offered. The key is required to move the plunger in the same manner as the knurled knob type. In this version, a cover sleeve provides additional security and safety from unauthorized removal of the locking plunger.

Check out the rest of our spring, indexing and ball plungers in Section 10 of our online catalog.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

GN 822.1 Steel Mini Indexing Plungers

Here's the scoop on another series of new products we've added to our line: GN 822.1 Steel Mini Indexing Plungers.

These indexing plungers feature six indexing positions, at 30º increments. They are made of zinc-plated, blue passivated steel, with stainless steel plunger and spring, and a knob of matte black glass fiber reinforced nylon plastic, not removable. Offered in metric sizes, they are RoHS compliant.

These indexing plungers feature small, compact dimensions, and are designed for installation in thin walled sheet metal applications. They offer a lockout position for applications that require the plunger pin to be retracted for an extended period of time. Plungers are inserted into position by holding them by the knurled knob. The wrench flats on the lock nut are exposed when the pin is retracted, so that the plunger can be easily tightened by means of an open end wrench.

To see our entire line of spring, indexing and ball plungers, visit Section 10 of our online catalog.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

GN 717 Economical Indexing Plungers

Another new product recently introduced to our line is the GN 717 series of economical indexing plungers. These plungers are offered in inch as well as metric sizes and are RoHS compliant.

The plungers have a body and lock nut made of zinc-plated, blue passivated steel. The plunger pin and spring are made of stainless steel. The pull ring version has a stainless steel ring, and the pull knob version has a non-removable knob of matte black glass fiber reinforced nylon plastic.

GN 717 indexing plungers are low cost and function well in small dimensions. They are well suited to applications that do not require high precision indexing.

To see our entire line of indexing, spring and ball plungers, visit Section 10 of our online catalog.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No. 909EG7 Series Ball-Ended Hex Key Sets

In addition to our huge selection of machine components, J.W. Winco also offers a nice variety of tools, including today's featured product. Our No. 909EG7 “Tool Boy” Ball-Ended Hex Key Sets are RoHS-compliant. They include metric size 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10 keys of Chrome-Vanadium steel, hardened and nickel plated. The handle is made of an ergonomically designed two-piece housing of black and red Cadmium-free plastic. The lift mechanism offers convenient access to the keys.

Check out all our tools in Section 18 of our online catalog.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

LIXR-VKHT Heat-Resistant Stainless Steel Swivel Casters

Diane here, to present another new product recently added to our line: series LIXR-VKHT Heat-Resistant Stainless Steel Swivel Casters.

The RoHS-compliant metric casters have swivel brackets of high quality, chromium-nickel plated stainless steel, European Standard 1.4301 (American Standard 304), with a bolt hole fitting. They feature a double ball bearing in the swivel head, a strong central kingpin, a teflon-coated, stainless steel axle tube, and a zinc-plated bolted wheel axle. The wheel is heat-resistant Blickle Hotline® special solid black rubber. Also available is a version with plain bearing.

This smooth-rolling, long-life caster has a load capacity of 100 kg and a temperature range from -‍30°C to 260°C (-22°F to 500°F), temporarily up to 280°C (535°F). It is particularly suitable for oven racks. A version with heat-resistant grease is available upon request.

To see our entire line of high quality casters and wheels, visit Section 14 in our online catalog.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Revolutionary Fastening Clamps from Misati

We wanted to share with you today a very special product line offered by J.W. Winco. Misati, S.L., an ISO 9001-certified company in Barcelona, Spain, has been supplying industrial clamps to the world since 1979, and we now distribute these remarkable clamps.

To the right you see an example of Misati clamps in use in an industrial application.

Creative thinking in the field of kinetics led to the development of these clamps, which are well suited to applications in a variety of industries, including assembly, verification, handling, and welding.

You see here an internal view of the double-effect pneumatic cylinder that achieves high-force clamping.

The advantage of the clamps’ new design is the ability to exert greater force with a smaller apparatus. The clamp has a double-effect pneumatic cylinder that transmits a turning movement to the clamping arm along the shaft. Thanks to the special shape of the oblong hole, the clamp exerts high force.

Meanwhile, the line offers a wide variety of standard accessories, which may be combined to suit any specific application without requiring the development of custom components. These features work together to provide a superior clamping solution at a lower cost, saving hundreds of dollars per clamp.

The design of Misati clamps allows for a smaller diameter apparatus to generate up to 333% more force than other clamps. Misati clamps are up to 42% narrower than typical clamps, so are ideal for applications in confined spaces. The design of the force mechanism employs a smaller-than-typical stroke that uses less air per cycle.

The next illustration shows how Misati’s clamps achieve more force with a smaller diameter apparatus.

The sturdy design of these clamps make them suitable for aggressive environments such as machining or resistance welding. They utilize a monobloc body of machined and treated steel, which incorporates the stress mechanism and pneumatic cylinder. The built-in connections have no-flow regulators. If the application requires an extra long arm, a pneumatic cushioning option is available for the clamp.

Pneumatic parts in the clamp can be replaced after wear in a simple manner that doesn’t require removing the clamp from position. The mechanism that generates the force of the clamp has been designed with roller bearings for long life. Each clamp is stamped with the month and year of manufacture, and guaranteed for five years or 20 million cycles.

Clamps are also available in an “anti-spatter” version that is resistant to rust, salt, solvents and chemicals. It is thermal resistant and has an antistatic Teflon coating.

The next illustration is a breakdown of the many advantages of this clamp design.

Misati clamps are offered in four styles, with piston lengths from 20 to 50 mm. The design of the clamp permits either front or lateral mounting with centering guide bushings. They also do not use lateral sockets, which makes for simple installation even in small spaces. Positioning can be highly accurate, and clamps can be interchanged easily. Clamps may also be affixed using a collar that permits them to be easily rotated in place.

Here are some examples of different clamp assemblies possible with the many accessories available.

A broad variety of types of gripper fingers allow the clamp to be configured perfectly to application requirements. Gripper fingers that use a ribbed ball-and-socket joint are available and provide a high friction grip on unmatched surfaces.

Jaw blocks reproduce the surface of the piece to be clamped. Shims are offered to regulate the clamping further. A leveling ball-and-socket joint is useful for clamping delicate pieces. Centering guide bushings can be employed to withstand lateral forces and precisely place couplings and mountings. Other accessories include rearside protection plates, built-in sensors, and cable connectors.

Fastening of accessories uses threaded set screws, socket cap screws, and upper or lower centering guide bushings, making it easy to assemble, center, and exchange parts.

For more information on the Misati clamp line, visit our online catalog's Section 15 Toggle Clamps.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

AN 410 Adjustable Guide Rail Brackets with 4-Prong Knob

Here's another new product we've recently introduced to our line of standard machine components, in the Conveyor Components category: our series AN 410 Adjustable Guide Rail Brackets with 4-Prong Knob. These brackets are typically used with adjusting rods and other guide rail holding components. They are available in metric sizes, and are RoHS compliant.

The clamp is black reinforced polyamide, with an eye bolt and bushing of nickel-plated brass. The 4-prong knob is black reinforced polyamide with a brass, nickel-plated bushing molded in.

Guide rail brackets are just one element of J.W. Winco's newly launched line of conveyor components. To see the full range, visit Section 17 of our online catalog.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

GN 350.2 Steel Leveling Sets with Spherical Washers

Diane here, showcasing another recent addition to our product line: our series GN 350.2 Steel Leveling Sets with Spherical Washers.

These leveling sets are used for leveling, adjusting, and linking operations. Offered in metric sizes, the sets are RoHS compliant. They are made of zinc-plated, blue passivated steel.

The spherical washer allows precise installation of two non-parallel planes at a required gradient up to ~4°. Leveling sets consist of a threaded upper sleeve and a tapped lower sleeve. The fine thread allows precise, stepless setting and locking using a DIN 1810A hook spanner wrench. An anti-rotation disk serves also as a height limiter for the maximum height. Normally this screw is permanently and securely locked by the static load created when the mounting screw is tightened. If this is not sufficient, the use of a locknut is recommended. A version including the locknut is offered.

For more spherical washer options, visit Section 11 of our online catalog.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

GN 927 Clamping Levers with Eccentrical Cam

Diane posting today with another of our new products, our series GN 927 Clamping Levers with Eccentrical Cam.

These clamping levers are used for rapid clamping and releasing, and come in both tapped and stud types. In contrast to a clamping operation utilizing threads, these levers permit torque-free clamping. The lever has been designed to insure that its movement cannot exceed the maximum clamping position, and there are no loose components since all are assembled and mounted in their correct order.

The levers are RoHS compliant, with zinc die cast handles and a matte black plastic coated, abrasion-proof epoxy resin finish. Components are zinc plated, blue passivated steel.

These levers are available with two types of technopolymer contact plates: a fixed version, or an adjustable contact plate, with which the distance between the eccentrical cam and the contact surface is adjustable by means of a fine threaded knurled nut. The second option permits the maximum clamping force to be set by a simple adjustment. With these clamping levers, thrust forces of up to 8 kN can be obtained.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Selecting a Crank

Diane here, and I’ve sorely neglected an essential category of machine parts, the humble but useful crank. Before these components get cranky (oh, that was bad), let’s talk about how to select the proper crank for your application.

By definition, a crank is a device for transmitting rotary motion, consisting of a handle or arm attached at right angles to a shaft. Simple enough, but there are some variables.

Balanced cranks: This type of crank has a center mounting point, which allows for smooth operation in either horizontal or vertical directions. Its design permits precise adjustment, and in applications with vibration, it will remain stationary. An example is our GN 10 series Steel Tri-Ball Handle.

Cranks: Standard cranks are mounted on one end, giving them one-handed leverage that works well for high torque applications and fast operation. They are well suited for clamping, and can be removable. Shown here is our GN 471 series Aluminum Cranks with Revolving Handle. Other options for materials for cranks are zinc die-cast, steel, stainless steel, cast iron and various plastics (nylon, phenolic, technopolymer).

Fold-Away Handle Cranks: Sometimes the application requires, for design or safety reasons, that the handle be retractable. An example is our GN 471.3 Aluminum Cranks with Retractable Handle. The handle firmly locks into position when folded or when in the operating position. We also offer styles where the handle fits neatly into a recess.

Off-Set Handle Cranks: The design of your machine may require a handle that is off-set, so that it clears obstructions when turned. Shown here is one of our DIN 468 series Off-Set Crank Handles. This cast iron crank is offered with a fixed or revolving handle, and round or square bore.

Racheting Cranks: The combination of a crank and a ratchet arm creates high torque. This mechanism also works well in a confined or limited space. The example I show here is our LR 318 series Steel Ratcheting Crank Handles.

Four-Arm Levers: A variation on the crank is the four-arm lever, which is really four cranks combined in one. This obviously increases its clamping capability. It also makes for good control with either one or two hands. Here you see our series GN 213 Four-Arm Turret Levers.

I wanted to close with a unique crank that was patented by J.W. Winco, our WRHC Nylon Plastic Retractable Hand Cranks with Revolving Handle. This cranks was designed for use in any application requiring the complete crank handle to be folded out of the way. Pretty nifty, huh?

For our entire selection of cranks, visit Section 6 of our online catalog.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

GN 113.6 Heavy Duty Self-Locking Release Pins

Diane here, with another new product to introduce to you: our series GN 113.6 Heavy Duty Self-Locking Release Pins.

These release pins are RoHS compliant, and use a ball lock mechanism for rapid connection and securing of components or work pieces. A typical example would be bearing shafts which have to be regularly mounted and unmounted. By depressing the spring-loaded push button, the two balls are freed, and by releasing the button, they are locked.

The release pins have nylon plastic handles, with shafts, balls and springs of heavy duty, hardened and highly abrasion-resistant stainless steel, giving them a high load capacity. Series GN 111 split rings with chains are also available to prevent misplacement of the release pins.

To see more rapid release pins, including the steel version of this one, visit our Section 10--Indexing, Spring and Ball Plungers.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

We Agree with Mythbusters’ Jamie

Diane here, to confess that I’ve been a fan of the Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters” for years. Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage, and the members of the Build Team demonstrate again and again how fascinating science and engineering can be.

I recently read a great piece written by Jamie for Popular Mechanics called "Is Computer Design a Substitute for Hands-on Experience?" Jamie’s contention is that in spite of all the amazing advancements in computer-aided design, CAD is only as good as the engineer using it. He points out the importance of looking at CAD as a tool, no different than a hammer, that augments skill but doesn’t guarantee perfection.

It’s true. Someone like Mike Holmes from "Holmes on Homes" is a lot better with a hammer than I am, and it’s not the hammer’s fault that I can’t get use it to get the same results as Mike. A hammer improperly used only causes damage. The same can be said for computer-aided design.

Now Jamie admits that CAD does better than "junk in, junk out"...what comes out of good CAD software will certainly be workable. However, it may well be impractical, overly complex, or otherwise a poor solution, if the tool hasn’t been utilized properly.

An example Jamie uses to illustrate this point is an experience with the unfortunate placement of a car battery he needed to remove. The car’s designer no doubt used CAD to make sure the battery would fit in the space allowed, but failed to use his own brain to consider the difficulty involved if one wanted to replace said battery. Jamie had to take off the front wheel and inner fender to do this basic piece of maintenance. Someone familiar with car maintenance and its importance (and honestly, who over 16 isn’t?) should not have made such a critical design mistake.

So no matter how sophisticated your design tools, nothing can take the place of understanding the intended purpose of a machine, performance and maintenance issues, and the properties and functions of the materials used. Sometimes the most efficient way to consider all those factors is simply to use the head of an expert, whether that be yourself or another human being.

J.W. Winco has free CAD files on our Web site, in all possible file formats, because we recognize the tools engineers use to do their work. We also provide as much technical information on our components as we can. However, unlike many of our competitors, we also recognize that good engineers depend upon human involvement when trying to do a job right. Our technical sales associates have great expertise, including years of experience advising designers on the best ways to use our parts. And what we don’t know, we know how to find out.

So we’re with Jamie on this one. Tools will only take you so far; the best machine designs depend upon the wisdom and experience of people. Call us at 800-877-8351 or email sales@jwwinco if you’d like our people to help.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

GN 237-NI Stainless Steel Hinges with Countersunk Thru Holes

Diane posting, with another one of the new additions to our product line. This time we're featuring our GN 237-NI series Stainless Steel Hinges with Countersunk Thru Holes.

These hinges are RoHS compliant. Both the hinge body and pin are constructed of stainless steel. A zinc die-cast version with black powder coated textured finish is also available. For certain minimum quantities, an aluminum version of the hinges is offered upon request. Various metric and inch size fasteners and kit packages are available upon request.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Metric Size Washers in our eStore

Diane reporting, to let you know that we’ve added more metric fasteners to our Web site for online pricing and purchase. The new offerings are five series of washers.

First up is our metric size BN 791 Ribbed Lock Washers. These are available in steel or stainless steel and are used with hex cap and machine screws. When the screw is tightened, the serrations crunch into the mating faces which prevents the screw from loosening up due to vibrations, etc. These washers are used for high vibration resistance due to positive rib contact; and offer excellent pretensioning. We also offer a zinc-plated steel version, our BN 792 series.

Next up is our metric size DIN 9021B Flat Washers in zinc-plated steel. These washers are also known as fender washers. The sizes less than 16 mm are 140 HV class, 140-250 hardness HV; sizes larger than 16 mm are 100 HV class, 100-250 hardness HV.

Here are our metric size DIN 6798A Serrated Lock Washers. They are made of zinc-plated spring steel and have external serrations.

Lastly, I present our metric size DIN 127B Helical Spring Lock Washers. They are available in spring steel, 450-530 HV hardness, with a plain finish; spring steel, 450-530 HV hardness, with a zinc-plated finish; or A2 stainless steel, with plain finish. These washers are without jaws and have square ends.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Aluminum

Diane reporting today! You know, the Barenaked Ladies recorded a song called “Aluminum” which begins: “How, in every visible way, you shine / As if the stars in your wake align.”

High praise indeed, and in fact aluminum is an excellent material for machine components, offering many beneficial characteristics.

First let me get the disadvantages of aluminum out of the way, and it is a short list. This metal is more rare and more expensive than steel. It is abrasive to tooling, or more accurately, the aluminum oxide coating that forms upon it is. It is prone to severe spring back. And it requires special processes to be welded.

But those cons aside, aluminum has many useful traits:

● Corrosion-resistant: Aluminum oxidizes quickly, and the resulting surface coat of aluminum oxide resists further corrosion, by air, water, and chemicals. This protective coating is clear, colorless, and non-staining.

● Economical: No, I’m not contradicting myself. Aluminum is still more economical than brass or stainless steel, so is often the best option for non-corrosive applications.

● Lightweight: Aluminum weighs about a third of what steel does. That makes it inexpensive to ship and can also contribute to making a lighter machine when that is desirable.

● Strong: Aluminum has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal.

● Electrically conductive: Aluminum conducts electricity even better than copper.

● Non-magnetic: For applications where magnetism needs to be avoided, aluminum is an excellent choice.

● Colorable: Aluminum can be easily colored by anodization, and holds paint extremely well.

● Recyclable: Aluminum is 100% recyclable without losing any of its natural characteristics.

J.W. Winco’s product line includes many items manufactured of aluminum, a sampling of which you see pictured in this post. Presented here is our ALCK Control Knob, our GN 565.2 Angled Cabinet U-Handle, our GN 322 Two-Spoked Handwheel, and our GN 744 Fluid Level Sight Glass.

These components were fabricated of aluminum to take advantage of its many fine qualities…and you could fairly say of them, in every visible way, they shine!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GN 665 Series Arched Pull Handles

Diane here with another new product to introduce to you from our line of standard machine components. Today we're showing off our GN 665 Series Arched Pull Handles.

Available in metric sizes, the tapped-type handles are produced from elliptical aluminum extrusions and have a black powder coated textured finish. The end pieces are made of zinc die-cast with a silver powder coated textured finish. The mounting screws, hexagon nuts, and washers are zinc-plated.

These handles are notable for their elegant design and are RoHS compliant.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Characteristics of Common Plastics Used in Machine Components

Diane posting, here to talk about—or rather scratch the surface of—plastic. In the nearly 150 years since plastic materials were conceived, these man-made materials have evolved into countless types for every possible use. Today I’ll just touch on a few categories of plastic that are frequently used in industrial parts.

Nylon is a technopolymer, and is typically referred to as polyamide (PA). Nylon was the first commercially successful synthetic polymer. The wide variety of different modifications that can be made to technopolymer allows it to be produced with different mechanical properties, chemical resistance, temperature resistance and colors, even crystal-clear. Nylon can be used as the matrix material in composite materials, with reinforcing fibers like glass or carbon fiber, and which then have a higher density than pure nylon. Such thermoplastic composites (25% glass fiber) are frequently used in components where their good heat resistance—up to 150°C (300°F)—making them practical competitors with metals. Glass fiber reinforced nylon is used in the production of J.W. Winco’s WN 300 Nylon Plastic Adjustable Levers, shown here.

Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic polymer that is rugged as well as unusually resistant to many chemical solvents, bases and acids. It is resistant to fatigue and tolerates high heat—66°C (150°F). It can be extruded or molded. Many physical finishing techniques can also be used on polypropylene, such as machining. Surface treatments can be applied to PP parts in order to encourage adhesion of inks and paints. Fiberglass reinforced polypropylene is used for our MFE Cabinet U-Handles.

Elastomers/thermoplastic elastomers are polymers with the property of elasticity. The term, which is derived from elastic polymer, is often used interchangeably with the term rubber. Components of these materials can be stretched and bent without exerting great force. Once the deforming force relaxes or no longer acts at all, the parts take their original shape. At ambient temperatures rubbers are relatively soft and deformable. Their primary uses are for seals, adhesives and molded flexible parts such as wheels. Elastomers can be made in varying degrees of hardness and can be dyed easily. Elastomer is also often used for non-skid pads like those on the bases of our SNSM Snap-Lock Non-Skid Leveling Mounts.

Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE), sometimes referred to as thermoplastic rubbers, are a class of copolymers or a physical mix of polymers (usually a plastic and a rubber) which consist of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. TPE is used as an outer coating on our EN 5337.6 Softline Star Knobs, to provide a soft, ergonomic grip.

Duroplast is a resin plastic reinforced with fibers (either cotton or wool) making it a fiber-reinforced plastic similar to glass-reinforced plastic. It is light, flexible and strong, but has low elasticity. Phenolic resins are among the most commonly used Duroplast materials. Unlike technopolymer, Duroplast and phenolic plastics cannot be melted because they remain rigid up to degradation temperature. The coloring and dyeing options of components made of Duroplast are limited. Duroplast is used in our EN 940 Three Spoked Handwheels to make them strong and durable.

Like I said, that just scratches the surface of plastics and all there is to know about their use in industrial components. You can find some additional technical information about plastics in our Web site’s Technical Section, including General Heat Resistance for Plastic, Material Characteristics Chart of Duroplast and Technopolymer Plastics, and
Material Properties Chart of Elastomers (Rubber).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

GN 316 Interchangeable Insert Ratchet Wrenches

Diane reporting, with another new product from our line: series GN 316 Interchangeable Insert Ratchet Wrenches with Reversing Lever. Made of steel and available in metric sizes, these RoHS-compliant Ratchet Wrenches are ideal for assembly and repair work, as well as fixed applications on machinery and equipment. The housing of the wrench is coated with black matte plastic in a textured finish. The knob is made of glass fiber-reinforced polyamide technopolymer.

In order to reverse the operation of this wrench, you simply move the cam lever from its middle position either to the left or to the right to obtain the function required. In the middle position the ratchet function is eliminated and the spanner can be used in both directions as an ordinary wrench.

These wrenches are available in tapped insert type, round bore with keyway, and square bore type. The inserts are easily interchangeable--to exchange the inserts remove screw and cover--and can be supplied individually upon request. For certain minimum quantities, hexagon and modified inserts with inch size threads, round bores with keyway, and square holes are available. Other handle lengths are offered upon request.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Choosing Spring Loaded Devices for Positioning and Locking

Diane here, to talk to you today about the engineer’s options when he/she needs to align, hold, or latch different parts of equipment together. When this is your objective, you need a spring loaded device, and the options for that component are many and varied.

Breaking it down most simply, these sorts of devices consist of a body, an internal spring, and a ball or nose. They may also have a knob, button, or lever for the operator to control by hand. The general purpose of these components is to use the force in the spring to apply pressure so that the ball or nose will remain nested in some sort of hole or other receptacle. This way two or more elements of the equipment can be aligned or fixed into a determined relative position.

There are countless uses for positioning and locking components. They are used in workholding applications, as well as for indexing, latching, ejecting, and even electrical contacts.

So let’s examine the various types of components in this category (featured in our Section 10, Indexing, Spring and Ball Plungers).

Indexing plungers: These have a beveled or rounded nose that inserts easily into an indexing receptacle. The nose is long enough to fix the position firmly, preventing movement in any direction. In order to move the position of the plunger, the operator must mechanically retract the nose. An example is this GN 617 indexing plunger (non-lock out type).

Spring plungers: Spring plungers differ from indexing plungers in that they have a nose designed to allow for movement when some side force is applied. In other words, it isn’t necessary (or possible) to retract the nose mechanically. Consequently, these plungers are not appropriate if heavy side load is involved in the application. Shown is our SPNL short spring plunger (note the nylon locking element in the side of the threaded body).

Hand-retractable spring plungers: These plungers are sort of a hybrid of the two above types, and include a knob for manual retraction of the plunger. Among other things, they are used for manual or automated holding, as in workholding applications. Here you see our LRSS stainless steel hand retractable spring plunger (lock out type).

Ball plungers: These have a ball instead of a nose, and no knob. The shallow depth of the ball allows for easy movement in and out of position, but as with spring plungers, they do not perform well with heavy loads. The illustration is our GN 615 steel ball plunger with threaded body (note the slot provided for installation with a screwdriver).

Side thrust pins: These components are designed for fixturing small parts and holding them in place with constant pressure, as shown in the illustration. In the photo you see the GN 713 zinc-plated steel side thrust pin, which has a threaded body.

Quick release pins: Instead of body with a nose, these components consist of a rod or stem, from which small side securing pins protrude. A button in the handle retracts or extends these pins so that the quick release pin can be removed or secured in place (see application example).

The component in the illustration is our GN 114.2 steel rapid release pin. We offer many other options for quick release pins, including stainless steel components, heavy duty construction, and self-locking features.

So far this seems fairly simple, right? Spring-loaded components aren’t rocket science (especially if yours truly can explain them). We offer these types of components in many sizes, both inch and metric. But there are more options than that to consider. Let’s start with balls and noses.

Balls and noses: Balls, as mentioned above, allow for easy position changes. However, their holding force is limited. Noses may be round for reduced friction and similar easy positioning. They can also be chamfered for easier insertion into indexing holes. Flat noses have a larger contact area but will obviously resist side motion. Hex noses can allow installation of the plunger from the front with a hex wrench, but are subject to faster wear.

The material chosen for the ball or nose is also key: case hardened steel noses are strong and heat-resistant, but can mar the surface to which they press. Delrin® is a very strong plastic that holds up well, is self-lubricating, and will not mar. Nylon also resists marring and corrosion but doesn’t wear as well and can’t be used in temperatures above 82ºC (180ºF). Phenolic plastic is an economical option but is more brittle. Stainless steel is the best choice for sterile applications.

Body attributes: The body of a plunger varies depending upon installation considerations. It may be threaded, it may have a lock nut for securing the mounting (see illustration). Or it might be smooth for push-fit installation, or smooth and weldable. Threaded body plungers may have a locking element or patch. There may be a hex or slot on the end to assist in mounting.

The same material issues apply to the body as to the nose or ball. Case-hardened steel stands up to high forces. Steel may be zinc-plated or have a black oxide finish. Stainless steel tolerates high forces, heat, and corrosion. Brass is another option for metal plungers. As for plastic, a Delrin® body is non-magnetic and resists corrosion but will not tolerate heat.

Space considerations may require you use a short or stubby plunger. An extra-long plunger (“long-travel”) or long nose can be used to meet side force holding requirements or for holding up metal sheets. This latter is illustrated by our GN 611 long stroke spring plungers.

Springs: Springs are generally made of steel or stainless steel, and their end force determines the applications for which the plunger is appropriate. For detents, you will need a heavy or standard end force. If you want an easily retractable plunger, use standard or light end force. Heavy end forces permit the plunger to hold its position by end force alone. Light end forces prevent marring. Many of our plungers are available in all three versions.

Hand-operating elements: For hand-retractable plungers, the plunger incorporates an element that the hand can hold, pull, or manipulate. Options include knobs with or without knurling, L-handles, T-handles, and pull rings. Some plungers have a threaded end that will accept whatever knob or handle the user wishes to install. There is also the cam-action indexing plunger, which is designed so the turning of a handle in a circular direction causes the nose to retract.

J.W. Winco offers the unique type of cam-action indexing plunger pictured here, which permits the plunger pin to be held in either a retracted or protruding position. View GN 712 and GN 712.1 for full details.

Lock out or non-lock out: Last, but not least, is the issue of whether or not the plunger needs the option of holding a retracted position. Lock out type plungers are designed so the operator can pull the plunger into a retracted position, perform a turn of the knob or handle, and let go, and the plunger nose will stay retracted. Cam-action plungers may be either version.

Receptacles for plungers: Obviously the ball, nose, or pin of a plunger or release pin needs a receptacle. The receiving element need be no more complicated than a drilled hole or indentation. It may also be a flange or a mounting block that is mounted by welding or screws to a surface. See the illustration for an example using a mounting block, our GN 412.2.

Accessories: Spacer bushings are a useful component of plunger applications, and compensate for the body thread lengths on indexing plungers to allow mounting through walls of varying thicknesses. Ball chains and lanyards can be used as ways to “tie” removable plungers and release pins to a piece of equipment so they will not be lost, as you see in the illustration (our GN 113.3 rapid release pins with a ball chain).

Well, as far as these varied and useful positioning and locking components, that’s all I got. But if you want to know even more, visit Section 10 of our online catalog, or contact one of our Technical Sales associates!