Saturday, February 10, 2018

Vacuum Feedthroughs for University Research and Development

Public research universities play a significant role in the advancement of many industries, including medicine, composite materials, semiconductor development, analytical equipment and alternative energy sources. Every day, we benefit from discoveries made, or knowledge advanced, from the engineering and scientific research done by our universities.

Scientific research almost always involves the careful and accurate control of pressure (vacuum), temperature, level, and flow. Included in most labs are an assortment of testing and monitoring chambers, all with an wide array of peripheral support equipment such as vacuum feedthroughs, thermocouples, heaters, and connectors.  Equipment size, shape, and material selection vary widely, and many times compromises in component specifications vs. design requirements are made, with component purchases being driven by off-the-shelf-parts. These decisions are driven by the assumption of favorable cost and delivery time over those of a custom solution. Any downside to design compromise is chalked up to schedule and budget.

There's good news on the custom feedthrough front though. One manufacturer, Northern California's BCE, has adopted processes and techniques that deliver prototypes and low production-run custom feedthroughs quickly and inexpensively.

Below are some examples of custom feedthroughs from BCE that better fit the desired design requirements, and still were produced quickly and affordably:

Novel feedthrough design used in methane sensing systems incorporating a brass bushing with an O-ring seal. Vacuum leak tight assembly with limited outgassing due to BCE’s proprietary black epoxy seal. Cost-effective 18 wire configuration with a small footprint. Threaded assembly for easy installation into a universal vacuum port.

Effective feedthrough design ideal for extremely confined spaces. Less than 3/16” in diameter incorporating 6X 20 AWG Teflon insulated wires sealed in a 1” long stainless steel shell. Precisely manufactured and engineered to supply power and signals to delicate instruments.

Epoxy-free, robust laser welded assembly ideal for power supply in high temperature and vacuum environments. Standard 9X Beryllium-Copper Alloy contacts hermetically sealed with ceramic. Rated for 750VAC. Mating UHV connector and cables available.

Hermetically sealed 50 pin feedthrough for easy integration in complex electrical circuits. Stainless steel contacts sealed with a clear epoxy engineered to fit into any electrical port. Contacts mounted to FR4 board with standard through holes for easy installation with readily available hardware.

Stainless steel contacts sealed in a standard CF flange with an O-ring groove for effective supply of signals inside a vacuum chamber. Proprietary BCE Epoxy seal meeting NASA ASTM E595 Low Outgassing Specification. Additional sleeve on rear for easy installation and grip.

For more information visit or call (510) 274-1990