The story behind the power of vacuum lifting

Since the early 60’s Aerolift designs customised vacuum lifting solutions. By the aid of vacuum, we are able to handle all kind of products with an airtight surface. The power of vacuum lifting is enormous and the possibilities are endless. Below we explain the basis of vacuum and how we apply this in our lifting solutions.

Power of vacuum lifting; between 0 and 1 bar

To understand why the power of vacuum lifting is so powerful, we first need to answer the obvious question: What is vacuum? Simple said, a vacuum is a space without matter and without pressure (bar). To explain this further we will look at the schematic overview below.

Visualisation of under pressure

The atmospheric pressure on earth at sea level is 1 bar. We speak of a perfect vacuum at 0 bar. The pressure between 0 and 1 bar is called under pressure. Aerolift uses this under pressure to create a strong connection between the suction pad and the product. 1 bar is equivalent to 0% vacuum and at 0 bar to 100% vacuum. The higher the percentage, the stronger the connection between the suction pad and the product. At Aerolift we solely use a high vacuum. The Aerolift vacuum lifters reach a vacuum up to 96%.

A strong connection through vacuum

The basic principle of vacuum lifting is therefore easy: An under pressure is created between the suction pad and the product, as a result the pressure under the suction pad is lower than the outside pressure. The outside pressure pushes on the suction pad and the product, so that they are pressed firmly against each other. Maybe this doesn’t sound impressive, but by this simple principle we are able to lift products up to dozens of tons!

The Magdeburg hemispheres

The power of vacuum was already proven in 1654 by Otto von Guericke, the then Mayor of the German city of Magdeburg. He held two hemispheres (diameter of 50cm) together to form a sphere and sucked out the air. Inside the sphere the pressure decreased and a vacuum was created inside. Through the higher pressure outside the sphere, the hemispheres were firmly pressed together. Even so tight, they couldn’t pull them apart by eight horses on both sides.

Now we know the power which was needed to pull them apart was over 20.000 Newton! A power equal to the mass of two ton. The experiment of Otto von Guericke is nowadays known as the Magdeburg hemispheres experiment.

Why would you choose the power of vacuum as lifting method?

It is clear the power of vacuum is extremely strong and can be used to lift very heavy loads. But why would you choose vacuum over other lifting methods? The reason is simple: In many cases vacuum offers unique advantages, such as safety, reliability, efficiency and productivity.

Curious what an Aerolift vacuum lifting solution can do for you? Contact the Aerolift team. They are happy to tell you more about the power of vacuum lifting and how this can help you optimise your handling process.