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 https://bcemfg.com.