Suction cups, in small, medium and large sizes can be found in use at homes and offices and inside automobiles. Designed to stick to a variety of non-porous surfaces by creating vacuum, these products are extremely useful for adding convenience. Very few people know that these useful products serve a number of industrial applications as well.
Also known as vacuum cups or suckers, these products have evolved in terms of shapes and designs over the period of many centuries. Moreover, there are many different materials being used in manufacturing these cups to suit various types of applications. Here are some useful and interesting things worth knowing about vacuum cups.
Hippocrates, the renowned Greek physician from the 3rd century BC, is believed to have designed the first artificial suction cup. The cup was used to remove impure blood from the internal organs through suctioning. However, the most significant discoveries related to vacuum cups were made in the 19th century, when a number of patents were assigned in this direction.
Suction Cups in Animals:
It is interesting to know that octopus has a number of suction cups attached to its eight arms. They use these cups to walk over slippery surfaces under the sea and also to select their foods. Squid is another animal that has natural vacuum cups to attach to its prey.
Materials for Artificial Suckers:
Rubber has always been the most popular material used for making suckers. However, a number of other materials are in use these days to make high quality vacuum cups. Silicone and polyurethane are two of the most common examples of such materials. Aluminum-made cups are used for different industrial applications. Cups made of vinyl are common for various applications in homes and cars. Other materials used for this purpose include nitrile and fluoroelastomers.
Shapes and Designs:
Flat vacuum cups are among the common designs. Mushroom head cups and long knob mushroom head cups are specialized designs to hand objects away from the walls. Double sided cups are used for hanging parallel objects, while cups with no heads are used to handle glass objects. In addition, there are suction cups designed with additional gears like hooks, loops, studs and nuts for added advantages.
Used for Different Surfaces:
From oily and wet surfaces to those made of wood, glass, paper and metal, vacuum cups serve applications for different types of surfaces. This is the reason for their specialized designs to resist a variety of damages. For example, these cups are designed to resist fatigue, abrasion and wear and tear caused in different applications. Moreover, they are designed to withstand temperature and contaminants.
Suction cups are used to hang decors like wall hangings and paintings at homes and offices. In the bathroom areas, these cups are used to hold mats and rugs at places. Affixing a variety of objects to doors, tiles and refrigerator doors is possible with suckers. A useful application of these cups is to install glass panes and windscreens effortlessly.
Suction cups may appear as small, but they are objects of great value. It is possible to obtain them in different sizes, dimensions, shapes and designs.