The ExploraVAC™ MAX
series is Ideal Vacuum's premier TVAC thermal test chamber product line, which includes many additional features compared to our standard ExploraVac
This is our Advanced Epoxy Outgassing and Curing ExploraVAC MAX
TVAC thermal vacuum test chamber system, designed with material synthesis and conditioning in mind. This ExploraVac MAX
system delivers sample temperature control from ambient temperature to +400 °C, accurate to ± 0.3°C, on a 23” × 23” thermally isolated platen. It is a fully integrated, turnkey, rough vacuum system featuring a fully enclosed, lighted, cubic 24” inch, welded, 6061-T6 aluminum vacuum chamber and door with viewport, dual ISO LF-200 side ports, and a volume of 8.0 cubic feet. This system includes an Edwards nXDS20ic chemical series dry scroll vacuum pump which quickly removes oxygen and air to degas materials while withstanding organic vapors and avoiding contaminating chemical products or polymer resin with oil mist. This pump can pump condensable vapors (if the gas ballast is opened - see pump manual). and can reach an ultimate vacuum of 20 mTorr. The chamber is fitted with wall heaters to bake out and self-clean any residue that may build up inside the chamber. The wall heaters produce a maximum wall heating rate of 2 degrees per minute up to 140°C, accurate to ± 1.5 °C, independent of the platen temperature. An integrated Convectron gauge and controller to provide chamber vacuum pressure measurements.
The system includes a built-in touch screen display equipped with AutoExplor
™ software which can control all chamber functions. This system includes a non-expiring basic version of our AutoExplor
software, run by an onboard Windows computer and touchscreen monitor. This easy-to-use software can control and automate all ExploraVAC MAX
functions. Also included is a one-year, renewable, license of AutoExplor
premium version, with many additional features (see below).
This Advanced Epoxy Outgassing and Curing ExploraVAC MAX
TVAC system weighs 1038 lb., and requires single-phase 208-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz, at 63 Amps.
ExploraVAC MAX Advanced Outgassing and Curing System Configuration:
- Fully Enclosed 24” Welded Aluminum Vacuum Chamber
- Aluminum Chamber Door with Large Viewport
- Quick-Latch Front Door Closure
- Through Viewport LED Chamber Lighting
- Heated Platen to +400 °C
- Chamber Wall Heating to +140 °C
- 15.5” LCD Touch Screen Display
- Edwards nXDS20iC Chemical Series Dry Scroll Vacuum Pump
- Two ISO LF-200 Side Ports (Allows for a variety of feedthroughs to be added)
The ExploraVAC MAX
series of TVAC thermal vacuum chamber process and test instruments create precise environments empowering the operator with complete control over internal chamber pressure and temperature. They are built with innovation in mind. They allow for prototype device exploration in vacuum during the product research and development phase and for precise process control in small batch processing. These thermal vacuum test chamber instruments are designed to allow users to quickly tailor experiments to gather product analysis and diagnostics data as the product is subjected to the extreme stress factors of vacuum and temperature. ExploraVAC MAX
TVAC thermal vacuum test chambers are completely configurable with many available system options.
ExploraVAC MAX System Configuration Options:
- Roughing Pump (dry scroll or dry multi-stage roots, various speeds)
- High Vacuum Turbomolecular Pump (various speeds)
- Full Vacuum Pressure Control
- Heated and Cooled Platen
- Chamber Wall Heating
- Closed-Loop Refrigerated or LN2Cryogenic Cooling System
- Automated Software Control
- Remote Control Operation
- Purge Ports, Chamber Shelving, and Much More
systems are configured with fully enclosed 24 inch cubic aluminum chambers and doors with viewports and chamber lighting.
The ExploraVAC MAX
TVAC system cabinet has a conveniently angled front panel with computer-controlled touchscreen interface which controls all chamber functions. PID controllers and gauges are installed as required for user selected options. A PLC manages system functions including pump and valve sequencing for efficient pump down cycles and safety interlocks for preventing equipment damage. The front accessible, built-in NEMA style enclosure houses the electronics needed for system operation.
Two spacious LF-200 side ports are available for user-selected or designed accessories, such as an electronic feedthrough for device monitoring or for a vibration pad for shock testing, an infrared lamp array for radiant heating or temperature differential tests, an ultraviolet lamp array for ionizing radiation tests, or a mount for an electron beam. A system can also be customized to obtain any desired rate of rise by adding additional vacuum pumps mounted outside the cabinet.
The back of the cabinet holds a bulkhead feedthrough panel for chamber venting, pump exhaust, and the purge gas option. A digital feedthrough back panel has multiple ports including a DB9 connector for running the system remotely from a workstation or laptop running Microsoft Windows10 or 11 with our AutoExplor
The (non-expiring) basic version of AutoExplor
(P1012102) allows a user to manually control devices while protecting the system. AutoExplor
properly sequences pumps and automatically operates the correct valves for a given request. The user can program pressure and temperature setpoints, ramp rates, soak times, and venting (if the system is equipped with those hardware options). The software provides real-time graphical data streaming so the user can visualize system behavior. AutoExplor
maintains an internal preventive maintenance schedule and notifies the user when system service is due. For example, it notifies when scroll pump tip-seal replacements are needed and when sensor calibration is due. This helps keep the system at peak operating performance. It also provides fault and error messages along with specific troubleshooting information in the case of a device failure so that the issue can be corrected as soon as possible.
The premium version of AutoExplor
(P1012100) includes all the features of the basic software package (above) and adds automated recipe control, data logging, and log export capabilities. Complex test recipes can be created as a step-by-step process, where each step can control the on/off state, setpoints, and ramp rates of multiple devices. One or multiple end conditions for each recipe step may be set using logical operators. The premium version allows the user to quickly generate environmental TVAC test reports from recipe data log files. Logs can be reviewed to ensure targeted process parameters are achieved. The premium version also includes AutoExplor IP Client
, which gives the software the ability to be used as a host that can manage multiple external network clients, and AutoExplor API
(application programming interface), which allows a scientist or programmer to integrate an ExploraVac
instrument into their existing software test suite without using AutoExplor’s
software interface. The premium version must be renewed annually or it reverts to the basic version.
The ExploraVAC MAX
series of TVAC pressure and temperature-controlled test chambers are a perfect solution for many product testing requirements.
About Epoxy Outgassing and Curing:
- Environmental Testing Chamber
- Altitude Test Chamber
- Space Simulation Test Chamber
- Thermal Shock Chamber
- Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering Test Chamber
- High Altitude Flight Component Testing
- Vacuum Oven
- Vacuum Freeze Drying
- Plastic & Epoxy Curing & Outgassing
To make quality, high-strength epoxy or polyurethane castings and moldings, all trapped air bubbles and dissolved gases must be removed. This improves the strength, texture, and clarity of the final product. Vacuum treating liquid resin is one of the best ways to remove bubbles and the only way to remove dissolved gasses by causing them to expand and rise to the surface where they are stripped away by the vacuum pump. Vacuum is especially important when dealing with oxygen sensitive monomer mixtures, such as acrylics and other free-radical polymerization polymers, or water sensitive resins, such as polyurethane resin.
Mild heating and temperature control of the liquid resin also contributes to reliable quality casts and molds. Heating a thick, viscous, slow-curing resin will reduce its viscosity allowing trapped bubbles to more easily be removed by vacuum. Free radical polymerization type polymers often require heating to initiate or complete the polymerization process, while other two-part polymer or epoxy mixtures may cure faster or more completely when heated. Heating in vacuum can also be used as a post-cure process to outgas and remove any unreacted monomer, catalyst, surfactant, plasticizer, hardener, or other organic chemicals. This can further improve the strength and rigidity of plastic parts and is essential in high purity applications where residual monomer and catalyst leaching or outgassing is prohibited.
Ideal Vacuum’s ExploraVAC MAX
Epoxy Outgassing and Curing TVAC thermal vacuum chamber system comes with an oil-free, chemically resistant dry scroll vacuum pump capable providing vacuum pressures as low as 2 × 10-2
Torr while withstanding organic vapors and avoiding contaminating liquid resin with oil mist. It is equipped with a thermally isolated, heated platen that allows sample temperature ramp rate and setpoint control from ambient temperature to 400°C, with ± 0.3°C accuracy, which far exceeds most process specifications.
The ExploraVAC MAX
Epoxy Outgassing and Curing TVAC thermal vacuum chamber system can be customized with full range pressure control to allow precise control of vacuum levels to remove bubbles, dissolved gases, and water without evaporating or boiling volatile monomer mixtures. An internally regulated purge gas line can also be added to introduce a user-selected inert, oxygen-free, or water-free gas for extra sensitive processes. The system can be further customized with a variety of platen cooling options if rapid thermal quenching is required.