The various uses of a stainless steel vacuum chamber

by | Jun 19, 2023 | Blog

Stainless Steel Vacuum ChambersStainless steel vacuum chambers are important components in a range of industrial, scientific and research applications. These chambers are designed to create a controlled environment where various processes can occur without interference from air or other gases. From medical research to semiconductor manufacturing, stainless steel vacuum chambers have a variety of uses that are essential for many industries.

In this article, we will explore some of the various applications of a stainless steel vacuum chamber.

Metal casting

Metal casting is used to produce a wide range of components, from industrial machinery parts to decorative objects. One of the critical factors in producing high-quality castings is removing air and other gases from the molten metal before it solidifies. In some cases, such as refractory metals the heated metal will be contaminated by oxygen. This is where vacuum chambers come into play.

Vacuum chambers are used in metal casting to remove air and other gases from the molten metal and also the molds, producing high-quality castings. The vacuum chamber is placed over the mold or the sealed mold becomes a vacuum chamber, and a vacuum pump is used to remove the air and moisture from the vacuum chamber system and the mold. This creates a low-pressure environment in the chamber, which causes the air and other gases in the molten metal to rise to the surface and escape.

The use of vacuum chambers in metal casting has several benefits. When air and other gases are present in the molten metal, they can cause porosity, shrinkage and other defects in the finished product. By removing these gases with a vacuum chamber, the risk of defects is greatly reduced, resulting in higher quality castings.

Another benefit of using a vacuum chamber in metal casting and welding is the ability to use a wider range of alloys. By using a suitable vacuum chamber to remove the air and other gases, even refractory metals can be cast (or forged) with high-quality results.

Vacuum chambers used in metal casting are typically made of stainless steel or other materials that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion. Additionally, some vacuum chambers feature automated controls, allowing for precise control over the pressure and temperature conditions during the casting process.

Automotive industry

In addition to some castings, the automotive industry uses stainless steel vacuum chambers for creating metalized coatings and other components. Some of the common items in an automobile that require vacuum chamber processing are LED bulbs, flat panel displays, computer chips, anti-wear and anti-seize coatings, reflective coatings and decorative coatings.

Nearly all light bulbs are made with vacuum chambers. This includes incandescent, halogen, florescent and LED bulbs. The automotive industry uses many different lights.

From GPS screens to dash board displays automobiles have many displays. Whether OLED, plasma or LED these displays must be manufactured in a vacuum chamber and stainless steel is the most common material for these chambers.

A modern car is filled with computer chips. These are not just in the car’s computer system, but in sensors, controls, cameras and a host of other items. The silicon for the chips is created in a vacuum crystal growing furnace and also the processing of the computer chip is done inside a vacuum chamber.

Engines and other components used to wear quickly. A manual for a Model T car suggests that it is normal for the car to use one quart of oil for every 100 miles. We have come a long way in the last 100 years so that cars use very little (or none for electric cars) oil. The automotive components have a long life and low maintenance. One of the ways to reduce friction and increase longevity is to provide anti-wear coating that are creating in a vacuum chamber.

Whenever you see a plastic part that looks like chrome it most likely was made in a stainless-steel vacuum chamber.  From the decorative trim items to the reflective coatings on the headlights there are many vapors deposition coated parts on an automobile. And, it is not limited to chrome, but vacuum deposition can create beautiful and shiny parts of nearly any color.

Aerospace equipment

Aerospace equipment is designed to operate in extreme conditions, including the high vacuum in space. To ensure that this equipment is capable of withstanding these harsh conditions, it must be thoroughly tested before deployment. One of the most important tests is simulating the conditions of outer space, or altitude simulation.

Vacuum chambers are used to simulate the conditions of outer space, allowing aerospace equipment to be tested in a controlled environment. The vacuum chamber creates a low-pressure environment where the equipment can be subjected to varying temperatures, radiation and other forms of stress that it may encounter in space.

One of the most significant benefits of using vacuum chambers to simulate outer space conditions is that they provide a controlled environment for testing the systems. This means that engineers can precisely control the temperature, pressure and other conditions during the test, ensuring accurate and reliable results. By creating a controlled environment, engineers can study the equipment’s performance under different conditions and identify potential issues before it is deployed.

Another benefit of using vacuum chambers for space simulation testing is that they can simulate the effects of radiation on the equipment. Radiation can cause damage to electronic components and other sensitive equipment, making it essential to test the equipment’s performance under these conditions. Vacuum chambers can simulate the effects of radiation using various methods, including gamma ray sources and electron beams. This testing is not possible in air where gamma rays are absorbed and where convection is the most effective method of heat transfer instead of radiation.

Vacuum chambers used in space simulation testing are typically made of materials that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion, such as stainless steel and aluminum. They are available in various sizes and configurations to accommodate different equipment sizes and shapes. Additionally, some vacuum chambers feature automated controls, allowing for precise control over the pressure and temperature conditions during the test.

Semiconductor manufacturing

Computer chips are essential components in modern electronic devices, from smartphones to laptops to gaming consoles. These chips are made of tiny integrated circuits that must be precisely fabricated for optimal performance.

Vacuum chambers are used in the production of computer chips, where any contamination can compromise their performance. The vacuum chamber creates a controlled environment with low pressure at high vacuum, free of contaminants such as dust, dirt, oil, oxygen and other particles that could affect the quality of the computer chip.

When creating a computer chip, even the slightest contamination can cause defects and reduce its overall performance. By using a vacuum chamber, the production and packaging process can take place in a controlled environment that is free of contaminants, ensuring high-quality computer chips. Furthermore, the tracings on computer chips are created with a photolithography process. As the chips are packed with more circuits the tracings get smaller until they are limited by the wavelength of light.  This is where vacuum chambers are now playing an even bigger role. By using extreme ultraviolet light, the tracings on the chip can be made even smaller. This exacting lithography process must be done in a vacuum chamber because extreme ultraviolet light is absorbed by air.

Vacuum chambers used in the production of computer chips are typically made of materials that can withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion, such as stainless steel. Additionally, some vacuum chambers feature automated controls, allowing for precise control over the pressure and temperature conditions during the manufacturing process.

Where to buy a stainless steel vacuum chamber

When it comes to vacuum chambers for industrial applications and scientific applications, GNB Corporation stands out as one of the most trusted names in the industry. We offer customizable options. GNB Corporation can create a custom-designed vacuum system that fits your specific requirements. From small to large vacuum chambers, we can provide a system with the necessary features and accessories, such as feedthroughs, valves, viewports and flanges, to meet your needs.

Our stainless steel vacuum chambers are durable and can withstand high temperatures and low pressures, while our customizable options and full vacuum solutions ensure that you get the system that meets your specific needs. Additionally, our products are helium leak tested and guaranteed to meet the highest standards in the industry, ensuring that you get the best quality and performance possible.