Chucks refer to clamps used to hold objects, typically with a symmetrical shape. Machine collets, a subtype of chuck, perform this function via a specialized design and durable material.
A machine collet clamps onto, or holds, an object by forming a collar around that object. The machine collet, when tightened, exerts a clamping force on the object through the outer collar.
A machine collet consists of a sleeve comprised of an inner cylindrical surface with a conical-shaped, outer surface. A spring collet contains cuts along its length, enabling contraction and expansion, and can exert pressure around a matching taper until its inner surface contracts in diameter. This enables the collet to secure and hold the object or workpiece.
High grade tool steel, or carbon and alloy steel with a carbon content between .7 percent and 1.5 percent, typically makes up standard machine collet sleeves. Spring machine collets are typically comprised of spring steel, a low alloy, medium carbon steel with a high yield point or yield strength.