Vacuum Chamber Landed

12 03 2009

Received the vacuum chamber today. First of all, it’s huge. Way bigger than I imagined. I could easily fit inside it!

 

img_3294

When we took off one of the top ports we found this:

img_3305

After some further poking around, we realized what this chamber was originally for: depositing metal on Compact Disks! The CDs would go on those spindles, and everything spins around. 

So we need to take the top off to get into a position where we can remove all these guts. Fortunately, we have  a 1 ton crane laying around!

 

img_3303

 

Stuart checks out the machinery:

img_3313

 

And now we have an empty chamber:img_3317

The walls of the chamber are actually pretty clean, they were largely protected from the deposition material by all the sheet-metal installed inside. However as you can see from the colors, there is deposition residue here and there. Also some flakey deposition scaling. So at the very least it will need a good cleaning.

The gaskets are rubber, so this chamber is not intended for ultra high vacuum:

rubber_gaskets

And most of the ports are secured with specialty screws, I think they need this wrench:

special_screws1

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6 responses

12 03 2009
A. McEvoy

I’ve never made a ConFlat seal from scratch but I’m certain it can be done. Maybe there is a really good machinist near you who could work some miracles. Are any of the flanges ConFlat or are they all rubber gasket seals?

12 03 2009
FAMULUS

Could it be as simple as replacing the rubber gasket with a copper gasket?

Is ConFlat a trade name? or an abbreviation?

12 03 2009
FAMULUS

copper gasket and knife-edge flange

12 03 2009
FAMULUS

I’m assuming it would also be possible to weld the lids to the ports (using a pro welder).

I’m also thinking it would be valuable to see how hard a vacuum I can pull with the rubber gaskets. Any idea the theoretical lower limit for rubber gaskets?

12 03 2009
A. McEvoy

I wouldn’t advise welding the lids, which prevents you from accessing the chamber and changing things as you go. You can try and pull a vacuum on the rubber gaskets, but with the size of those lids I think you will not get much below 10e-5 or 10e-6 at best, even with a boatload of vacuum grease. Are any of the flanges ConFlat or are they all rubber gaskets? It would be ideal if you only had to make ConFlats out of a few of them, but I really don’t know what else you can do. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

13 03 2009
FAMULUS

I’ll be in the lab on Saturday, I’ll see if any of the flanges are ConFlat.

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