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Tutorial Course Descriptions

Detailed Syllabus

V-207 Practical Aspects of Vacuum Technology: Operation and Maintenance of Production Vacuum Systems

This tutorial is designed to teach the basic fundamentals of vacuum technology to technicians, equipment operators, line process operators, and maintenance personnel. This tutorial will address how to use and maintain an existing vacuum effectively, not how to design a system. The introduction will consist of a very basic explanation of what a vacuum is and how it is attained and proceeds to an explanation of the three gas flow regimes (i.e., viscous, transition, and molecular flow). This is followed by a description of the types of pumps used in the viscous flow region (e.g., mechanical displacement pumps, venturi/suction pumps, and sorption pumps). Types of high vacuum pumps are next discussed; these include diffusion pumps, turbopumps, and cryopumps. Presented next is a guide for selecting a pressure gauge which includes a description of various types of gauges and details their useful pressure range and measurement precision.

The next section deals with the care and maintenance of pumps and vacuum systems, including both compressible “rubber” gasket and metal gasket systems. The unique role that water plays in both pumpdown from atmosphere and in outgassing is addressed, and techniques to ameliorate its harmful effects will be presented. The effects of other unique “bad actors” are also discussed. Many useful charts and tables will be presented and explained.

Participants are requested to present any problems or difficulty that they may be experiencing with their vacuum systems for discussion. This makes for very interesting examples, and the problem might actually be solved.

Topical Outline:
  • Introduction to vacuum
  • Explanation of the three gas flow regimes
  • Viscous flow pumps
  • High vacuum pumps
  • Guide for selecting a pressure gauge
  • Care and maintenance of pumps and vacuum systems, including both compressible “rubber” gasket and metal gasket systems
  • Evaluating system performance: pumpdown rate and leak-up rate
  • Leak detection and correction
  • Cleaning and conditioning of vacuum components and system
  • Operation of vacuum systems: crossover pressure, interlocks, and safety
  • Applications of vacuum systems for vacuum coating
  • Pumpdown and outgassing
  • Descriptions of other vacuum related tutorials presented by SVC
Course Details:

Tutorial Description

 

This tutorial is designed to teach the basic fundamentals of vacuum technology to technicians, equipment operators, line process operators, and maintenance personnel. This tutorial addresses how to use and maintain an existing vacuum system effectively, not how to design a system.  The introduction consists of a basic explanation of what a vacuum is and how it is attained and proceeds to an explanation of the three gas flow regimes, i.e. viscous, transition, and molecular flow. The many variations of units of pressure and flow are discussed.

This is followed by a description of the types of pumps used in the viscous flow region, e.g., mechanical displacement pumps, venturi/suction pumps, and sorption pumps. Types of high vacuum pumps are next discussed; these include diffusion pumps, turbopumps, and cryopumps.

The following section deals with selecting the best type of pressure gauge for your application. This includes descriptions, limitations and advantages of the following gauges: thermocouple gauge, Pirani gauge, ionization gauge, radioactive pressure gauge, spinning rotor gauge, capacitance manometer, and McLeod gauge.

The next section deals with the care and maintenance of pumps and vacuum systems including both compressible ‘rubber’ gasket and metal gasket systems.  Included in this section is a review of vacuum pump fluids and greases, their uses and how to make effective choices for pump fluids for the many various applications.  Continuous filtering and treatment of pump fluids is presented along with techniques to determine when pump fluid should be changed.

Cleaning and conditioning of vacuum components and system is discussed with emphasis on metal and insulator materials.  The unique role that water plays in both pumpdown from atmosphere and in outgassing is addressed and techniques to ameliorate its harmful effects are presented.  The effects of other unique gases, i.e. bad actors, are discussed.

In addition system pumpdown from air is discussed and techniques to evaluate system performance, i.e. pumpdown rate and leak-up rate, are presented.  Techniques for detection of system leaks and their correction are discussed as well as outgassing and permeation.

Finally operation of vacuum systems is discussed with emphasis on determining crossover pressure, interlocks, safety, and documentation. 

Many useful charts and tables are presented and their use explained.

Participants are requested to present any problems or difficulty that they may be experiencing with their vacuum systems to the tutorial instructor and fellow students for discussion. This makes for very interesting examples and who knows, the problem might actually get solved.

This tutorial will conclude with short descriptions of the other pertinent vacuum related tutorials presented by SVC.

Instructor: Robert (Bob) A. Langley, Oak Ridge Scientific Consultants
Robert (Bob) A. Langley

retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1994 and Sandia National Laboratories in 1999. He has performed research in the fields of atomic and molecular physics, solid state physics, material science, vacuum science and technology, upper atmospheric phenomena, fusion power, and high-energy accelerators and published over 130 scientific papers. He is associate editor of Vacuum Technology and Coating magazine, teaches vacuum related courses for American Vacuum Society and Society of Vacuum Coaters, served on the Board of Directors of the AVS, served as Chairman of the AVS and the IUVSTA Plasma Science Divisions, and consults on vacuum science and technology, and microwave material processing.


This course is currently available via:
On Location Education Program

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