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Minggu, 28 Maret 2010

What is an Air Hammer

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An Air Hammer is any device that uses highly pressurized air to drive a hammer into a workpiece for shaping, scoring, or plenishing (smoothing). Air hammers are pneumatic devices that range in size from handheld to desktop-sized, and from US$20 to US$20,000. An air hammer allows a craftsman to shape a piece of metal in minutes that would otherwise take hours or days, and much physical strain, to form by hand.

An Air Hammer impacts a workpiece several thousand times per second, with pressures generally around several dozen PSI (pounds per square inch). Handheld air hammers must be attached to tubes leading to air tanks that provide pressurized air. Some air hammers are also referred to as power hammers.

Air hammers have variable tips. For shaping and plenishing, a hammer tip is used. For scoring or cutting, a chisel tip is used. Whatever tip is used, it will be pounded thousands of times per minute into the targeted object, so human operators must take care and precaution.

For simple plenishing jobs, low pressures may be used. Soft metals like aluminum and copper are easy to shape or polish. Stronger metals such as stainless steel and heavy shaping jobs require setting the air hammer to maximum PSI levels, consuming pressurized air more rapidly.

Key variables to study when purchasing an air hammer include the blows per minute, chisels or hammer tips included, air consumption, maximum working pressure, the size of the air inlet, the recommended hose size, weight, and product code. It is also possible for craftsmen to build air hammers themselves. Plans can be cheaply obtained online.

The air hammer is a technological advancement that allows craftsmen to shape metal in many instances without heating it up as in a traditional forge. This provides a safer working environment and also greater ease of use.