- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 29 Aug 2017
A suction lifter (or suction pad) is a form of suction cup used for commercial and industrial lifting operations. In the construction industry, they are often used to move large, smooth objects such as glass panes, fixtures such as kitchen countertops, floor tiles, and so on. They are commonly hand-operated, although they can also operate on a hoist.
Suction lifters follow the same principle as a suction cup, maintaining a vacuum between the surface to be lifted and a flexible material such as rubber. The vacuum is created by pushing a lever or handle on the suction cup.
Their load carrying capacity is dependent on the type, size and number of suction cups, and the lifting mechanism. Typical safe working loads for hand operated suction lifters range from 10kg to 60kg per lifter, with lifters formed from 1 to 4 suction cups. Hoist operated lifters can have from 1 to 50 or more suction cups and can lift well in excess of 1,000kg.
They work best against very flat, smooth surfaces, but can also be congfigured to lift other shapes, such as curves. Rougher textured surfaces make the maintaining of a vacuum more difficult
Lower atmospheric pressures also make it more difficult to stick to surfaces.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
A tapestry of continued use, new use, preservation, dismantlement, dereliction and abandonment.
Whole-life costs consider all costs associated with the life of a building, from inception to disposal. Find out more here.
Reports emerge of injuries caused by Apple employees colliding with the campus' glazed walls.
The winners of NIC's ideas competition on transforming the Cambridge to Oxford arc discuss their concept.
Create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.