Tuesday, May 17, 2022

ALD Vacuum Chamber Pedestal Heater with Extended Sleeve

ALD Vacuum Chamber Pedestal Heater with Extended Sleeve

Heating solution for an ALD Vacuum Chamber Heater testing 6” (152mm) wafers up to 450⁰C.  There were obvious space constraints at the customer site requiring an extended sleeve of 25”.  The extra-long length enabled the placement of the wafer on the top surface eliminating the need to modify the existing chamber.  

The Vacuum Pedestal Heater needed to satisfy the following:
  • Temperature 450⁰C  
  • 25” Long sleeve with 2.75 CF Flange on the bottom 
  • Body must pass Helium Leak rate of 1 x 10̄¯9 cc/sec He 
  • 6” overall diameter for 6” (152mm) wafers
  • Top surface must have a flatness of  ± .005” 
  • Thermocouple for additional temperature measurement
  • 1,000  Watt (± 10%) , 120 Volt
  • Material was 304 Stainless Steel
The Vacuum Pedestal Heater was ramped in atmosphere to 450⁰C in approximately 45 minutes.  Due to the 360⁰ weld, there was some deflection on the top surface causing it to be out of tolerance.  After the 450⁰C ramp, the Vacuum Pedestal Heater was polished down to below ± .005”.  A leak test was performed to spec and cleaned to high purity standards then shipped in clean room bags.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Mini Clean Flow Heater for Harsh Environments

Mini Clean Flow Heater for Harsh Environments


The BCE application was a custom heating solution for harsh environments where the medium material needed to be heated using low carbon metals.  Stainless steels such as 316L and 304L are the best option for low carbon, these materials were not readily available on the a standard Mini Clean Flow (MCF) heater.  BCE adapted making all wetted parts 316L or 304L while being heated with a 321 stainless steel heat source.   


The Mini Clean Flow Heater - Harsh Environment needed to satisfy the following:
  • Temperature outlet needed to be 100⁰C  
  • Perpendicular configuration, with locking fittings
  • Body must pass Helium Leak rate of 1 x 10-7 cc/sec He 
  • Pressure test of 50PSI 
  • Ability to place heater in a series flow configuration if necessary
  • Thermocouple for additional temperature measurement
  • 400 Watt, 120 Volt
  • All wetted surfaces must be 304 or 316 Stainless Steel L (low carbon) 

This BCE MCF heater was tested to 100⁰C with the mass of the heater being slightly above 5 lbs.  The 100⁰C temperature was reached within about 2 minutes.  This efficiency was achieved by maintaining good contact with the internal heat source and the low carbon steel MCF heater body.  


+1 510-274-1990 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Experienced Electric Heating Element Designers Speed Development Time and Save Money in OEM Product Development

Electric Heating Element Designers

The application of localized electric heating elements is one area that OEM design engineers find themselves navigating in unchartered waters. Very logically, they often attempt to use an off-the-shelf cartridge, silicone rubber, or mica heaters for their specialized heating requirement. Unfortunately, this approach compromises layout, packaging, and performance. A better alternative is considering a custom heating element developed in consultation with an experienced custom heater manufacturer.

Technology advances rapidly, and findings in material science, medicine, pharmacology, biology, and semiconductors occur daily. These advancements in technology open the door for performance improvements leading to new treatments, medications, materials, and processes. Original equipment manufacturers (OEM's) of analytical, semiconductor, biomedical, life-science, and aerospace equipment continually design new equipment to apply and leverage these new discoveries. 

Experienced custom electric heater designers provide many essential benefits throughout the product development cycle. For instance:

  • Front-end, practical design review to optimize manufacturability.
  • Timely prototype development.
  • Strong alliances with vendors.
  • Single source responsibility.
  • Testing, calibration, and QC.
  • Inventory management.
  • Value-added assembly.

The heater manufacturer partner provides:

  • Critical guidance in material selection.
  • Power requirements under load.
  • Temperature vs. time data.
  • Watt density optimization.
  • Packaging advice.

Their help provides high performance, precise fit, and extended heater life.

The pressure to produce new devices that offer greater efficiencies, compactness, and production is always present. Each item in the precedent design undergoes scrutiny and transitions to a contemporary fit, form, or function. New components are needed to meet the new design requirements. By choosing an experienced custom electric heating element design partner, the OEM gets the precision they need, plus scores of other benefits derived from the heater vendor's tacit knowledge and past experiences.


+1 510-274-1990

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Happy Holidays from BCE!

 “It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.  It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” – Agnes M. Pharo

Wishing you a happy holiday and a wonderful New Year. 

Best wishes from everyone at BCE.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Environmentally Friendly Mini Clean Flow Heater Replaces Gas Burner System

Mini Clean Flow Heater


The application involved using environmentally friendly electric heat replacing a gas burner type system.  The engineering request was to conform to a direct replacement 3” stainless tubing while utilizing BCE’s Mini Clean Flow In-line design.  The challenge was building the right inlet and outlet fittings in-line for a seamless change in the air heating process (gas to electric).  Electrically isolated elements in the air stream were required with a high temperature thermocouple assembly near the outlet.


Mini Clean Flow – Hi Wattage needed to satisfy the following:
  • Temperature 482°C to 648°C
  • Internal element must be able to withstand temperature <750°C and be electrically isolated
  • 3” outside diameter, no insulation 
  • A sanitary fitting on the inlet with an NPT on the outlet
  • A cold section on the heat source was required with fiberglass leads  
  • 304 stainless steel material on the heat source and vessel 
  • Type “J” Thermocouple able to withstand high temp at the outlet  
  • 480Volt, 7,000Watt (+/-10%)  


BCE produced a highly effective Mini Clean Flow heater meeting the delta “T” requirements during the final testing.  We were able to pressure test the part to 90PSI @ 20⁰C-25⁰ without any visible leaks in the weld or braze joints.    A thorough quality inspection was completed on the heater source with final cleaning using isopropyl alcohol and dry air. 

+1 510-274-1990

Thursday, September 9, 2021

BCE Responds to Chip Shortage with 450mm Vacuum Heater Chuck Design

50mm Vacuum Heater Chuck


With the existing chip shortage, an atomic layer deposition (ALD) application up to 360⁰C was the focus of the latest BCE Vacuum Heater Chuck. A compressed assembly was used with many vacuum holes and grooves in the bottom plate to allow the gases to escape during pump down of the vacuum chamber. No surface anodizing was required.


450mm Vacuum Heater Chuck needed to satisfy the following:
  • Temperature <361°C
  • Internal element must be able to withstand temperature <601°C
  • Top surface 16ra
  • A cold section was needed with added thickness for a vacuum fitting
  • 304 Stainless Steel Heat Source
  • 240Volt, 3850Watt (+/-10%)
  • Type “K” Thermocouple was placed near edge (or built-in to heat source)
  • Maximum allowable grooves and holes on the bottom plate to allow any trapped gases to escape


BCE produced a highly effective vacuum heater which reached an atmospheric temperature of 360°C in under 30 minutes. The reduced mass on the bottom plate provided proper gas elimination with a quicker initial ramp time. Due to this decreased ramp time in atmosphere, a reduced wattage may be an option for the next iteration of the 450mm Vacuum Heater Chuck.

+1 510-274-1990

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Sunrod Split Sheath Miniature Cartridge Heaters

Sunrod Split Sheath Miniature Cartridge Heaters
  • Small footprint, high heat
  • 1/8 inch and 4MM diameters
  • 3 - 240 volt operation
  • Hundreds of sizes In stock
  • Heaters as short as 1/2"
Sunrod split sheath cartridge heaters have a novel, innovative design that removes the failure points of conventional miniature heaters. The design includes a continuous resistor packed in maximum density insulation and welded to the heater connections. Lead wires exit through the insulation with a temperature rating of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Insulation with a temperature rating of 900 degrees Fahrenheit is also available.


In contrast to typical cartridge heaters, which have cold areas throughout their length and unheated sections at each end, Sunrods generate heat continuously for the whole length of the heater. The even heat dispersion of Sunrod ensures more uniform temperatures for your process. 

Sunrods have a unique hot tip that allows you to reach any part of your operation that requires heat. 

When activated, the split sheath design of SunRod forces its opposing legs to extend into contact with the surrounding bore for optimal heat transfer resulting in reduced operating temperature and an extended operating - by up to five times! 

SunRod elements contract when de-energized, breaking contact with the bore and allowing slide-out removal. SunRods are never going to seize! 

You may now apply heat whenever you want! Drill a small bore to the area that requires heating and insert a hot tip SunRod.

Contact BCE for more information about Sunrod split sheath miniature cartridge heaters. Call 510-274-1990 or visit https://bcemfg.com.