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Category: Miscellaneous
Volume: 23
Issue: 4
Article No.: 3587

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Back To Article Directory - Jul/Aug-02

Porous Aluminum Materials
portec - North America, a division of NEST Technologies, Inc., announced the availability of new METAPOR porous materials for applications related to material handling including vacuum clamping tables and chucks. METAPOR micro-porous materials have gained popularity in the plastics industry for production of air-permeable tooling for thermoforming processes. Over the years engineers from numerous industrial fields have also been applying METAPOR products to situations requiring even clamping forces using vacuum as well as even cushion forces using air pressure. The ever increasing number of these applications and specific customer requirements have led to this introduction of METAPOR porous metals and ceramics for a wide range of material handling applications.

All METAPOR porous materials are based on the proprietary formulation of metal or ceramic powders and epoxy binders. Using a patented manufacturing process the material is produced in plate form in a range of standard sizes. The unique nature of METAPOR makes it highly machinable without affecting its air-permeability, and multiple pieces are often joined together to create large porous structures.

The most common material handling application for METAPOR is vacuum clamping. It is used to accurately hold down printed circuit boards, semi-conductor wafers, liquid crystal displays and other delicate components. General machining and manufacturing industries use the material to build flat and 3-D vacuum chucks in order to clamp parts for machining, trimming, assembly and numerous types of other processes.

METAPOR porous products are now available in a variety of formulations. METAPOR BF 100 AL (aluminum based, micro-porous product) offers a fine surface finish, good mechanical properties and temperature resistance of up to 230° F. For vacuum clamping, this material can create a build-up of internal pressure allowing for adequate clamping of delicate components even though the complete holding surface may not be covered. METAPOR BF 210 AL (aluminum based, heat resistant product) has similar properties to METAPOR BF 100 AL, however it can be used in high heat environments reaching temperatures of up to 460° F. METAPOR MC 100 AL (aluminum based, highly porous product) offers 8 times higher air throughput than METAPOR BF 100 AL. This material is often used for construction of 3-D and flat vacuum chucks for machining, trimming and assembly processes. METAPOR CE 100 WHITE (ceramic based product) is applicable for humid or wet environments as well as for clean rooms and other special applications. METAPOR INOX 100 FE (stainless steel based product) offers higher hardness and better abrasion resistance than other METAPOR products.

For more information, contact Michael Tsenter, portec-North America, 3849 Ridgemoor Drive, Studio City, CA 91604, 818-761-6500, Fax: 818-761-6116, Web:

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