Vacuum chamber FAQ

What is a vacuum chamber and how is it used?

A vacuum chamber is a strict enclosure draft to keep a low-pressure environment, including full vacuum identical to external space. Vacuum chambers call for a vacuum pump to eliminate air and also other gasses indigenous the chamber in bespeak to attain a vacuum environment.

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Vacuum chambers have numerous applications such as manufacturing, high quality testing, experimentation and also research. Usual manufacturing processes encompass vacuum coating, degassing, and also vacuum drying. Semiconductor manufacturers use vacuum chambers to perform dye and also pry tests, as part of the failure analysis process to identify concealed defects in electronic components. Examples of high quality testing include package integrity trial and error (e.g. Bubble leak testing) and electronic equipment testing. Vacuum chambers are likewise popular in laboratory experiments and research applications such as altitude simulation, physics and also nuclear research.

What is permeation vs outgassing, and also how does it affect a vacuum chamber?

Permeation refers to the flow of air/moisture native the external through the walls of the vacuum chamber, which slowly diminishes vacuum. Outgassing is the release of chemical gasses, moisture, and also air native the wall surface material itself which likewise diminishes vacuum and can contaminate the vacuum system.

Plexiglass acrylic, additionally known as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) deserve to permeate and also outgas. The thermoplastic’s amorphous (non-crystalline) construction is a random arrangement of polymer chains. This creates microscopic pores whereby moisture and air have the right to absorb and pass through, albeit in small amounts. By comparison, austenitic 304/316 stainless stole is a highly-ordered crystalline structure and therefore does no absorb or “hold” water vapor in ~ a macro level.

The impacts of permeation and also outgassing because that both acrylic and also stainless steel are generally not a significant problem in the low to tool vacuum ranges stated below. These components are more critical for reaching ultra high vacuum (UHV) and also extreme high vacuum (XHV) ranges. Stainless stole is additionally recommended for applications that are sensitive to humidity permeation and also outgassing.


Crystal structures: (A) amorphous, (B) pure crystalline, (C) semi-crystalline


Austenitic steel (300 collection stainless steel) has actually a close-packed Face focused Cubic (FCC) crystalline structure.

What is the difference in between LV, MV, HV, UHV, and also XHV?

These acronyms stand for the different ranges that vacuum, XHV being linked with the highest possible level that vacuum found in outer-space. That is important to note the lowest vacuum any kind of chamber can accomplish is dependent on the vacuum pump used with the vacuum chamber system. Most rotary vane pumps and also diaphragm vacuum pumps are capable of operation in the “rough vacuum” LV - MV variety which is suitable for many commercial, industrial, and also research applications. HV, UHV, and also XHV ranges typically require non-permeable and non-outgassing walls to sustain the higher levels that vacuum. Because plastic vacuum chambers are permeable and also outgas, lock are generally not perfect for HV - XHV ranges.

ClassificationVacuum LevelLow Vacuum (LV)Medium Vacuum (MV)
1.33 come 1.33x10-3133.3 to 1.33x10-11 come 1x10-3
High Vacuum (HV)Ultra-High Vacuum (UHV)Extreme High Vacuum (XHV)

What is the best material because that my vacuum chamber application?

The material used to develop a vacuum chamber should be rigid and also support other required conditions for your application. Right here are some features to store in mind when choosing a product to ideal fit your vacuum chamber application:

CostLevel of vacuumChemical resistanceThermal extremesVisibility

A plastic vacuum chamber usually offers the shortest cost and best visibility, do them appropriate for most manufacturing, testing, and research applications. Terra supplies plastic vacuum chambers make of 1” special solvent-welded acrylic (plexiglass). Although lower expense than aluminum or stainless steel, these plexiglass vacuum chambers have actually the least chemical resistance and also lowest compatibility for temperature extremes. Plastic wall surfaces are also permeable (vacuum pressure will diminish end time) and also outgas (possibly contaminate the vacuum system relying on your application).

Due to permeation and also outgassing, acrylic vacuum chambers lose vacuum pressure at first via air exit from acrylic walls throughout the first couple of hours. After complete vacuum (29.9"Hg) is restored following this initial autumn in vacuum pressure, chambers are tested to organize 29.9"Hg with no detectable readjust in push over a 72 hour duration.


Aluminum vacuum chambers permeate and also outgas the least contrasted to acrylic and stainless steel, giving a cleaner environment and higher level the vacuum because that a longer period of time. It is about a third the load of stainless steel, making it a lower price option contrasted to a comparable stainless steel design. Aluminum also has greater thermal conductivity and is non-magnetic which can make it advantageous for applications such as electron optics.


Terra’s stainless steel vacuum chambers offer a selection of benefits similar to aluminum designs. Comparable to aluminum, stainless steel outgasses much less than acrylic, has higher chemical resistance, and also is perfect for greater temperature applications. Unlike aluminum vacuum chambers, this stainless stole vacuum chambers have the right to be built with double-wall 304 stainless steel sheet metal, together opposed to 1” solid walls. This offers a rigid however lightweight architecture for easy transportation.

What is the difference between a box and also cylinder shame vacuum chamber?

Vacuum chambers can be developed in countless shapes and also sizes. The traditional designs encompass sphere, cylinder, and box. In theory, sphere’s sell the ideal rigidity and also least amount of material, complied with by cylinders, and lastly boxes. While every 3 shapes deserve to reach complete vacuum, there are a variety of reasons to think about a crate or cylinder shape. In many cases, the size and also orientation the part(s) fitting inside the chamber, plus your applications should recognize what kind of design to consider.


A box vacuum chamber supplies a variety of benefits end the other designs. The rectangle-shaped shape provides the most adaptability for odd shaped applications. Because that instance, to fit a component that is really long and vast but short (a big flat sheet, because that example). Box shapes can likewise have data feedthroughs easily installed on all sides. In addition, the flat transparent walls are right for applications that require clear visibility. Flat walls minimization distortion that light, which renders it much easier to check out the true shapes of stored materials without opened the chamber. Box vacuum chambers can likewise be constructed like a storage cabinet to market quick access for repeated batch processing.


Basic cylinder vacuum chambers can be a lower cost option contrasted to similar box sizes. This is due to the fact that cylinder designs typically have less corners and edges to weld contrasted with a box shape. Cylindrical shapes in theory space also more rigid than boxes, therefore they can have thinner walls compared to a box of roughly the same size. Cylinders are also more suitable come fit long, narrow components (for example tall rod shame parts).

What is the benefit of a box vacuum chamber through a former swinging door matches one with a removable top lid?

Vacuum chambers with removable height lids are generally lower cost, yet may not be the most an are efficient depending on your application. They might be an ideal for components that require access from the optimal of the chamber, yet may it is in awkward for components or processes that require frequent side access. Vacuum chambers through front swinging doors can provide faster batch processing. First, the waver door enables for quick accessibility and straightforward transfer that parts. A vacuum chamber through removable height lid requires the component to it is in lifted vertically over the chamber, which might be an overwhelming for large, sensitive, and expensive parts. Second, vacuum chambers v front swinging doors deserve to be fitted through shelves to mimic a storage cabinet for greater an are efficiency.

How execute you measure up temperature and also humidity within a vacuum chamber?


You deserve to specify the environment of feedthroughs in the vacuum chamber wall surfaces to measure up conditions and also power equipment inside the chamber. Vacuum chamber feedthroughs come in plenty of different styles and also configurations, but installation is typically the same. If you pick to customize your vacuum chamber, you can select the feedthroughs friend require and we will install them because that you.

For temperature readings, you have the right to specify thermocouple feedthroughs either as a single probe or multi-pin configurations. Feedthroughs can additionally pass wires and also small-bore tubes right into the vacuum chamber because that humidity sensors and comparable components.

Can you use Terra universal vacuum chambers for degassing?

Yes, however it depends on the chemicals associated in your degassing process. Be sure to verify chemistry compatibility.

Terra’s vacuum chambers include all of the necessary components for vacuum degassing, including inlet/outlet water tap fittings and also a pressure gauge. An adjustable automatic relief valve have the right to be added as a safety precaution against pulling too much vacuum.

How carry out you reduced the relative humidity level inside a vacuum chamber?

After evacuating the air from the vacuum chamber, you deserve to backfill the chamber through nitrogen gas making use of the second inlet valve. The inert gas will assist prevent oxidation and also degradation that moisture-sensitive products (such as electronics or powders).

You might need to carry out multiple evacuation/backfill cycles to accomplish the lowest feasible humidity. Welded aluminum or stole chambers will certainly provide better long-term protection against moisture. Acrylic chambers are an ext permeable than metal chambers, which method moisture will slowly return with the walls of an acrylic chamber.

How execute you simulate various altitudes within a vacuum chamber?


A vacuum pump controller will certainly be required to target certain atmospheric pressures (besides full vacuum). As soon as the room reaches the desired pressure, the vacuum controller will cut off the vacuum line using a solenoid valve. The controller can also be supplied to preserve pressure levels because that a period of time (by reapplying vacuum) and much more advanced controllers deserve to be programmed to operation a series of simulations.

With a vacuum controller, the rap vacuum pump deserve to be left on throughout the simulations, i m sorry reduces wear-and-tear on the pump motor and seals.

Can you use solvents/reagents within a vacuum chamber?

Before using any type of chemical agent within the vacuum chamber, friend should examine chemical compatibility through the room material, seals, windows and also fittings. Solvents should not be used inside an acrylic vacuum chamber or in chambers through acrylic windows. In general, stainless stole vacuum chambers room resistant to most solvents and also reagents.

How execute you test packaging and also hermetic seals with a vacuum chamber?

You deserve to use one acrylic vacuum room to carry out bubble leak testing. By submerging a packaged product in water and evacuating the air in the chamber, you can detect leaks by watching for any type of bubbles released from the packaging. The transparent walls of the acrylic vacuum chamber make it basic to watch the test from any type of angle. If your product might release corrosive materials throughout testing, you should opt for a steel vacuum chamber v a built-in home window or glass top.

Can you usage solvents/reagents inside a vacuum chamber?

Before using any type of chemical agent inside the vacuum chamber, friend should examine chemical compatibility through the room material, seals, windows and fittings. Solvents must not be used inside one acrylic vacuum chamber or in chambers v acrylic windows. In general, stainless stole vacuum chambers space resistant to most solvents and also reagents.

How carry out you test packaging and also hermetic seals with a vacuum chamber?

You deserve to use an acrylic vacuum room to perform bubble leak testing. By submerging a packaged product in water and evacuating the waiting in the chamber, you have the right to detect leaks by watching for any kind of bubbles exit from the packaging. The transparent wall surfaces of the acrylic vacuum chamber do it basic to observe the test from any type of angle. If her product might release corrosive materials throughout testing, you need to opt because that a steel vacuum chamber with a built-in home window or glass top.

How do you clean a vacuum chamber?

Acrylic vacuum chambers should only be cleaned through water and mild detergents. Solvents will damage the acrylic.

Powder-coated aluminum chambers are much more durable and can stand approximately harsher clean agents, such as isopropil alcohol. However, regular cleanings v solvents will progressively degrade the finish. Water and also mild detergents room recommended.

Stainless stole chambers have the right to be safe cleaned with most solvents. Avoid using bleach solutions, which can oxidize and also damage the stainless stole surface.

A vacuum chamber is a strict enclosure for managed vacuum processing down to 99.9% vacuum (29.9" Hg). Vacuum chambers are provided in countless research and also manufacturing tasks including leak testing, tension testing, semiconductor fail analysis, degassing, drying, distillation, permeability testing, coating, specific gravity determination, atmospheric simulations, and also inert gas storage.

Terra uses a wide choice of high-quality vacuum chambers for every application. Economical, high-visibility acrylic vacuum chambers are appropriate for most manufacturing, testing, and research applications. Terra"s 1” special welded acrylic (plexiglass) vacuum chambers host a complete vacuum (29.9"Hg) for 72 hrs with no detectable leaks. Powder-coated aluminum vacuum chambers offer better chemical resistance than acrylic chambers, specifically when using disinfectants, together as isopropyl alcohol, or sporicidal agents. Stainless steel vacuum chambers are more suitable for chemical, biopharmaceutical, and microelectronics applications with higher temperatures and/or corrosive chemicals.

Vacuum desiccator cabinets through front-swing doors permit high-capacity storage, simple batch processing, and quick parts transfer. Optional feedthrough ports allow for link of electronics, probes, and also sensors within the vacuum chamber. A Vacuum regulate Module is important for vacuum trial and error or handling applications that call for sustained and also precisely regulated vacuum level (besides complete vacuum).

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Shop Terra"s wide selection of in-stock benchtop vacuum chambers below. Purchase a vacuum room online, or chat with a live product specialist to comment on your unique requirements.