Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Epoxy-based Feedthroughs Provide Design Flexibility, Rapid Prototyping and Cost Savings

Multi-conductor, flanged feedthrough
Multi-conductor, flanged feedthrough.
The point of view that epoxy-based feedthroughs are inferior to glass-to-metal feedthroughs in terms of sealing and outgassing may have once been true, but modern manufacturing techniques and new epoxy compounds have all but eliminated those concerns. Modern epoxy formulations are more capable of enduring greater mechanical stresses, operating under wider temperature ranges, and sustaining exposure to harsher chemicals than ever before. Today's epoxy-based feedthroughs are excellent choices for even the most challenging feedthrough applications.

Take BCE's proprietary epoxy compound for instance. It seals to 1 X 10E-9 cc/sec of Helium under high vacuum and high pressure and can operate at 150°C continuous operating temperature (with a maximum exposure temperate of 200°C.)

Concerns of outgassing have been erased with the formulation meeting NASA’s ASTM E-595 low-outgassing specification, the industry standard test for measuring outgassing in adhesives and other materials. Developed to screen for low outgassing materials for use in deep space, the test determines the volatile content of material samples placed in a heated vacuum chamber under tightly controlled humidity, temperature, and vacuum conditions.

PCB feedthrough with clean epoxy feedthrough
PCB feedthrough with clear epoxy feedthrough.
Epoxy feedthroughs allow designers and engineers to procure a feedthrough built for the specific task, rather than to accommodate off-the-shelf connectors that are rarely ideal for the specific requirement. Off-the-shelf connectors and feedthroughs impose restrictions on the number and gauge of conductors, as well as the geometry of the device. The use of epoxy-based feedthroughs opens the door for virtually any combination of conductors, tubes, fiber optic cables, sizes and geometries.

It’s important to use the right feedthrough for a given application. Epoxy feedthroughs are not always the right choice, and consultation with an applications expert is always recommended.  But from the viewpoint of engineers and designers, epoxy-based feedthroughs usher in design freedom, prototyping, and cost advantages that once didn't exist. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Clean Gas and Liquid Stream Heating

Clean gas and liquid heater
Clean gas and liquid heater
(BCE Mini Clean Flow)
As demand for purity increases throughout the medical, analytical, and semiconductor industries, equipment manufacturers continuously require new tools to reach the next technology threshold. In these industries electric heating applications for clean gases and liquids abound. Just a few examples are; clean air circulation, nitrogen heating, product drying, dehumidification, analytical instrument sample prep, incubation, DI water heating, solvent removal, wafer drying and processing.

High purity gas and liquid heating is challenging. Heater designs have to address problems and concerns involving contamination, thermal efficiency, electrical isolation, controllability, size, and packaging. Gas and liquid heating applications can vary dramatically. Some applications are very difficult to control and size is always a concern. One of the toughest issues to overcome is the seemingly mutually exclusive requirement for smaller size and higher power.
Clean gas and liquid heater
General diagram of "clean flow" heater.

Driven by innovation and competition, the need for hotter, cleaner, smaller and more efficient electric heaters is unceasing. One type of heater known as the "clean flow" has broad adaptability to many clean gas and liquid heating needs. It utilizes an internal heating element isolated from the process flow chamber, both electrically and physically. Best described as a "mini circulation heater", the heater's flow chamber, with inlet and outlet connections, completely protects the clean gas or liquid from external exposure and contamination.  The internal heating element can run at fairly high watt densities to accommodate fast changing flow rates, while still maintaining a compact and efficient package.  Internal RTDs or thermocouples can be incorporated to monitor temperature closely, or to protect the heater from over-temperature.

If you have questions about electrically heating clean gases or liquids, contact BCE by either visiting https://bcemfg.com or by calling (510) 274-1990.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

BCE ISO 9001: 2015 Update

BCE is very pleased to announce the company has been awarded ISO 9001: 2015 approval.

July 23, 2018 - BCE, Inc., a California based designer and manufacturer of electric thermal systems and vacuum feedthrough devices, announced today that it has been recognized for its commitment to quality and excellence by being certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2015.

For more information, contact BCE by calling 510-274-1990 or visiting https://bcemfg.com.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The SMARTFLOW Circulation Heater - Highly Efficient Electric Heater Design for Heating Liquids

The SMARTFLOW liquid heater is designed for applications where fast heating of liquids is required. All parts exposed to liquid flow are constructed of 304/316SS (other materials available). All units have built-in Type J or K TC with potential of added adapter for outlet flow.

  • Wetted parts constructed of 316 stainless steel (other material available) 
  • Liquid flow passes over an enclosed heated body.
  • All threaded fittings are available as NPT, SAE, BSP & VCR
  • Internal heater provides uniform heating.
  • Made in U.S.A.


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Innovative Vacuum Feedthrough Design Helps Optimize Imaging For Deep Space Applications

BCE 550 feedthrough
BCE 550 Feedthrough
Used in a sophisticated imaging instrument, the heat generated by the instrument's PCB boards has to be dissipated using heat exchangers due to the sensitive nature of the part. The application required stranded insulated wires and low outgassing in an ultraclean environment.


The BCE 550 feedthrough needed to satisfy the following criteria:
  • 1 x 10E-9 cc/sec of he, vacuum leak check
  • CF, 4.50”, flange stainless steel
  • 150°C continuous operating temperature
  • Maximum operating temperature <200°C
  • Multiple colors and zones for 550 stranded wires
  • 100 megohm isolation at 500 VDC
  • Must meet NASA ASTM E595 low outgassing standard
  • All tests performed at room temperature

The BCE 550 FEEDTHROUGH proved to be the most optimal design for imaging deep space. The temperature and low outgassing of the BCE proprietary epoxy assured success when operating the instrument. BCE’s proprietary black epoxy meets NASA ASTM E595 and was essential in the application.

For more information, visit BCE at https://bcemfg.com or call 510-274-1990.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Get Hot! with BCE's Mini Clean Flow Heater

A very compact, fast responding electric heating element for liquids and gases for all clean, fuel cell, bio-med, laboratory, food, and pharmaceutical applications.

The heating elements inside the Mini Clean Flow Heater are isolated electrically from the process media, protecting them from contaminants and providing long life.

The Mini Clean Flow Heater operates in a liquid or gas stream providing very fast response times and accurate control capability.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Epoxy Feedthroughs: Fast, Flexible, Affordable

During the past decade, new epoxy compounds have been developed that rival glass and ceramic in performance. BCE is at the forefront of this development.

With modern epoxy feedthroughs, any kind of standard or custom connector is sealed in a completely potted, high-performance, clear epoxy compound. Epoxy seals offer countless design options, and most amazingly, performance equal to or better than glass or ceramic. Better yet, pricing is very competitive and quick turn-around for prototypes and short production runs are not a problem.

BCE can provide custom prototypes for your design with high vacuum performance for today's fast moving markets.

Wide variety of standard and custom mounting options for epoxy vacuum feedthroughs.

Fewer components and connectors, often reducing 5 components to 1, BCE epoxy feedthroughs also eliminate multiple potential failure points.

BCE feedthroughs meet NASA outgassing requirements. BCE vacuum leak checks 100% of feedthroughs.