ANCACrete polymer concrete base
What do tool and cutter grinders and buildings have in common? The importance of having a solid foundation.
An essential component of achieving good accuracy and repeatability when grinding a cutting tool is the base. Having a stable foundation for a machine is paramount to achieving stable production. As part of ANCA’s commitment to vertical integration, in the late 1980s Pat McCluskey decided to replace the bases that were then outsourced with an ANCA designed and manufactured base.
McCluskey’s research was conducted primarily in Europe in conjunction with Aachen University who had carried out some research in polymer concrete in machine tool applications. He worked with German and local consultants to develop ANCA’s recipe for concrete base manufacture. The base molding technology they developed has since been an important part of the rigid ANCA bases.
The first base was poured in late 1989. Further pouring and testing followed until everyone was fully satisfied. Now called ANCAcrete, this technology would provide the best possible foundation for precision CNC grinders, reducing vibration and increasing the overall rigidity of the machine.
Since 1991 we’ve been using polymer base technology which forms the stable foundation base of all ANCA machines. Customers often ask us to explain the benefits of polymer concrete and we explain that polymer concrete by its very nature has a high thermal mass, so our bases are good at absorbing a lot of heat.
That means that throughout the production processes, their growth and contraction are very controlled, and it takes a long time which means that the process is very, very stable. The second main part of polymer concrete is that when we designed the mix over 20 years ago, it was made to mimic the expansion thermal coefficients of cast iron very closely. This means that as our machines heat up and cool down, we can control the expansion and contraction of the machine – which in turn, gives us control over the production processes to make sure that the machine aligns to how we want it to react.
Between the large thermal mass, the very closely linked thermal expansion coefficient to cast iron and also the vibration absorbing characteristics, ANCAcrete significantly contributes to the overall rigidity of the machine. For our customers this translates into highly accurate tools with a superior surface finish.
This is the first in a series looking at the range of ANCA technology that we have developed and refined over the years so that we can offer the best in class to the market. At ANCA we have fully embraced the benefits of vertical integration and are the only tool and cutter grinding machine company in the world that designs and manufactures the complete machine, including building the CNC, precision motors and spindles, and of course our ANCAcrete polymer concrete bases, in-house.
This means customers enjoy the benefits of a manufacturer that understands their product completely, stands behind the quality of every element, and is uniquely positioned to custom design both hardware and software to suit individual needs.
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