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 ExploraVAC MAX XtremeFreez
Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen TVAC thermal vacuum test chamber system, the ultimate environmental simulation instrument. 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 our proprietary recirculating liquid nitrogen cooling option and offers heated and cooled sample temperature control from -170 to +400 °C, accurate to ±0.3 °C, on a 23” × 23” high-surface-area thermally isolated platen. This XtremeFreez liquid nitrogen cooling system makes it possible for the platen temperature to change temperature sufficiently fast to simulate an orbiting object moving from light into shadow.
The system includes a Pfeiffer HiPace 300 turbomolecular pump and an Edwards nXR60i multi-stage roots dry roughing/backing pump. This system, with the nXR60i multi-stage pump alone, has full pressure control from local pressure to 2 × 10-2
Torr accurate to the measured gauge value. For altitude simulation, the system has a ceiling of 280,000 feet, has less maintenance, and pumps approximately 3 times faster than the nXDS20i dry scroll pump we normally use in other ExploraVAC
systems. When the chamber is crossed over and pumped by the turbomolecular vacuum pump, its pressure simulates that of deep space, in the 10-7
Torr range and can degas materials even at cryogenic temperatures.
Chamber venting is controlled by our smart Ideal Vacuum CommandValve™, which allows chamber pressurization at rates of up to 10 Torr per second, which is more rapid pressurization than an object feels in free fall. The operator can select preferred pressure units in Altitude, Torr, Atmospheres, Bar, Pascals, or PSI. This system could be customized to obtain any desired rate of rise by adding additional vacuum pumps mounted outside the cabinet.
The chamber is fitted with wall heaters to bake out or clean the chamber and achieve deeper vacuum faster. The 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.
This system includes two Convectron, a micro-ion, and a piezo-electric vacuum pressure gauge to provide feedback to the user and for the logic controller. An internally regulated purge port allows the introduction of user-selected high purity oxygen-or-water-free gas into the chamber.
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).
The ExploraVAC MAX
XtremeFreez Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen TVAC system alone weighs 1216 lb. and requires single-phase 208-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz, at 76 Amps. The LN2
system tanks and controller add an additional 865 lb and require a separate 110 VAC power supply at 3A (see P1012780 for XtremeFreez system information).
XtremeFreez Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen 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
- 15.5” LCD Touch Screen Display
- Heated and Cooled Platen
- Chamber Wall Heating
- Closed-Loop XtremeFreez LN2 Cryogenic Platen Cooling System
- Purge Ports
- Pfeiffer HiPace 300 Turbo pump
- Edwards nXR60i Multi-Stage Roots Dry Scroll Vacuum Pump
- Two ISO LF-200 Side Ports (Allows for a variety of feedthroughs to be added)
In some cases, it is impossible to know beforehand which tests or features will be necessary for a certain process. In other cases, due to lack of space or funds, a single system must act as a universal testing or process system. For example, an academic aerospace engineering lab may wish to have a single test chamber for performing altitude simulation, environmental testing, and
space simulation to qualify all their experimental aircraft, spacecraft, and CubeSat parts and devices. A materials synthesis laboratory may wish to have a single vacuum chamber capable of pyrolyzing, freeze-drying, and degassing nanotubes under high vacuum or measuring mechanical properties at varying temperatures and pressures of a promising new lightweight polymer. Ideal Vacuum’s ExploraVAC MAX XtremeFreez
Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen TVAC Test Chamber System can meet any of these needs.
The conditions felt in space are extreme. Satellites, CubeSats, and spacecraft experience constant high vacuum and large temperatures swings during the day-night cycle as they pass into the suns unfiltered rays and then into the earth’s cold shadow. For example, an object in low earth orbit without temperature regulation mechanisms may reach -170 °C in the night and 123 °C in the day. Due to the high cost of launching an object into space, it is crucial, and often mandatory, to rigorously test all individual components and the entire assembled device before deployment. The Ideal Vacuum XtremeFreez Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen TVAC system, with its 24” cubic chamber, can fit most individual components, such as a small commercial satellite, or a12U CubeSat. The built-in turbo pump delivers pressures down to 1 × 10-7
Torr to effectively simulate deep space. This matches most space simulation requirements and far exceeds the standard CubeSat testing requirement of 1 ×10-3
Torr. The large heated and LN2
cooled platen allows precise sample temperature control, light-shadow thermal temperature cycling tests, or thermal vacuum outgassing tests.
About the ExploraVAC MAX
Series of TVAC Systems:
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.
- 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