Sunday, January 10, 2021

120-volt Socket Vacuum Feedthroughs

120-volt Socket Vacuum Feedthroughs

Vacuum equipment usually requires transferring electrical currents, voltages, and signals or fluids through the equipment walls. BCE provides a wide range of feedthroughs that serve as solutions to various requirements for vacuum equipment installations.

One unique design is the 120-volt Socket Feedthrough. It's designed to replace bulky power wiring and reduce clutter located in and around a vacuum chamber.  A three-slot single female receptacle precisely fitted into an adapter with a KF50 flange or 1-1/4" NPT connection. This feedthrough is an optimal solution to reduce the size and increase efficiency. With this design, users can relocate the power system to the chamber's exterior, increasing the available space within the vacuum chamber while maintaining the desired vacuum rating.

BCE's epoxy chemical adhesion, the most robust mechanism of any adhesive bond, make the seal possible.  The viscoelastic nature of the epoxy absorbs vibrations and allows for a better performance by reducing fatigue.

BCE's innovative product is just what you need for a fast and easy 120-volt socket available on the other side of the vacuum wall. They provide a standard 120V, 15 amp socket for a quick, reusable connection. Custom configurations are available.


Friday, December 18, 2020

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Starwound Cable Heaters

Starwound Cable Heaters

Cable heaters are drawn, elongated, compacted heating elements with the electrical conductor protected inside a metallic sheath with magnesium oxide electrical insulation. Cable heaters are formed straight from round or square tubular stock. Once drawn and compacted, they are used as straight cable in some applications or assembled into various shapes, including star wound or spiral wound patterns. These configurations provide increased surface area, optimal heat transfer, compactness, and a fast heat up and cool down because of their small mass. Alloy 316 stainless steel cable heaters are commonly used in clean environments and where moisture or contaminants are present.

Starwound cable heaters provide optimal heat transfer of fluids (air, gases, liquids), yielding optimal heat distribution. The heater's flexibility allows for winding patterns that distribute power (wattage) precisely as required and generate high temperatures in tight areas. Starwound cable heaters placed inside pipes and ducts create a turbulent flow path, enhancing heat transfer and efficiency.

  • Small diameter, low mass heater allows for fast heat up/cool down.
  • Starwound element creates turbulent flow, resulting in more efficient heating.
  • Sheathed stainless steel element for safely heating clean or impure gas, air, or liquid streams.
  • Broad heater configuration is adaptable to any application.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Saturday, November 14, 2020

HK 300mm Compressed Heater Chuck

HK 300mm Compressed Heater Chuck


To reduce the overall cost for an existing application, BCE developed a 300mm aluminum heater chuck that is un-brazed utilizing the compression of two plates with countersink set screws. The heater surface specs were 0.003” flatness at a 0.005” parallelism. Using a 208-volt power supply at 9.7ohm, start @ 25°C temperature and ramped from 100°C to 465°C in 23 minutes. 


Aluminum Heater Chuck needed to satisfy the following:

  • Achieve temperature up to 435°C  @ +/- 2% or better 
  • Internal element must be able to withstand temperatures up to 600°C
  • Anodized surface for electrical isolation 
  • 208 Volt, 9.7 Ohm, 4,460 Watt (+5% / - 10%) 
  • Thermocouple bore hole to be placed at the center (variable) 
  • 4 point temperature profile on the top surface of the heater 
  • Used an infrared sensor for each 4 point locations
  • FINISH: Hard coat anodize per MIL-A-8625F, Type 3 Class1 Hard-coat thickness  


BCE produced a highly effective high 300mm heater with exceptional uniformity better than the proposed 435°C (+/-2%).  After the initial ramp, the heater maintained 435°C (+/- 1%) as per the chart below (Temp profile #5). 

300mm heater chuck

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Molybdenum-Copper Stage Heater

Molybdenum-Copper Heater


A research and development company approached BCE wanting to heat a 1mm x 1mm x 0.5mm thick component. This was a very sensitive part that needed to be tested to a maximum exposure of 200°C continuous with very precise temperature uniformity for sampling purposes.


Molybdenum-Copper Stage Heater needed to satisfy the following:

  • Temperature <201°C
  • Internal element must be able to withstand temperature <210°C
  • A cold section was not needed
  • Molybdenum-Copper (Moly-Copper) base 65% Moly and 35% Copper
  • 12Volt, 3Watt (Max)
  • Two thermocouple type “K” external
  • M1 threads 


BCE produced a highly effective assembly which reached the temperature of 200°C in under 1-Minute utilizing only 2.6 watts. Because of the low mass and high conductivity of the copper-moly base, reaching the target temperature and cooling down was highly efficient.

There were two thermocouples which were used to verify the test temperature. One was an exposed bare-bead TC 36 AWG, with the second TC being a 0.062”Ø probe style unit. The M1 threads were challenging, however our process was able to make this happen. 


Call BCE today for more information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

BCE Vacuum Feedthroughs Allow you to "Take It All Through the Wall"

Vacuum Feedthrough

The development capabilities for vacuum systems and components are continually refined by advances in analytical methods, medical science, and semiconductor manufacturing. The need for process monitoring and control is growing, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to get the necessary power and control signals into vacuum chambers. In order to pass electrical signals, light beams, or pure gases inside a vacuum chamber, devices referred to as vacuum feedthroughs are used. 

Leakage into or through the vacuum feedthrough can not be tolerated as the vacuum seal is essential to preventing leakage and ensuring process integrity. Glass-to-metal and ceramic-to-metal seals, historically the favored technology, are increasingly troublesome - not because of their performance, but because they are limited by size, design, durability, and electro-magnetic shielding choices. Due to this fact, engineers worked with what was available because no suitable alternatives existed. 

Fortunately, new, advanced sealing epoxy compounds were developed that provided exciting opportunities for vacuum feedthrough manufacturers. These new materials opened the door for a more efficient and flexible feedthrough design.

Today's epoxy vacuum feedthroughs have nearly the same application reach as their glass and ceramic cousins in low to medium temperatures. Epoxy vacuum feedthroughs provide an outstanding alternative in terms of customization and versatility for designers and engineers. Shapes, angles, and curves are not a concern. It is possible to use virtually any form of shielded wire or cable. Production in minimal amounts for prototyping and R&D, custom epoxy vacuum feedthroughs can be easily supplied. Modern epoxy feedthroughs sustain a vacuum of up to 10-8 Torr, with continuous temperatures of up to 200 ° C (intermittent 300 ° C), and therefore meet the outgassing criterion of NASA of < 1.0 percent Total Mass Loss (TML). Liquid epoxy's ability to flow and fill spaces thoroughly provides an important additional benefit. In most applications, epoxy feedthrough may be used where a glass-to-metal or ceramic feedthrough is used-the; only notable exceptions are in extremely high-temperature applications or where organic compounds are not authorized. 

Within the restricted world of glass-to-metal and ceramic-to-metal feedthroughs, designers and engineers no longer have to wonder. Epoxy feedthroughs are a modern, exciting player in the game, making them a very enticing option with lower cost, fast prototyping, and more versatile design capability.

For more information about vacuum feedthroughs, contact BCE. Call them at 510-274-1990 or visit their website at