What are Acrylic Vacuum Chambers?

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Acrylic vacuum chambers, as the name suggests, are vacuum chambers manufactured from acrylic polymer. 

They are transparent and allow you to have a full 360-degree view of the chamber’s interior section during vacuum operations. 

To fabricate a quality vacuum chamber, acrylic panels are specially prepared and welded(or glued) to create crystal clear airtight structures. In the end, these structures become the end product-the acrylic vacuum chambers. In this article, we will take a closer look at common applications of acrylic vacuum chambers, their advantages, disadvantages, and what to look out for when purchasing one.

7 Most Common Acrylic Vacuum Chamber Applications Every Manufacturer Should Know

Manufacturers and research teams in various industries often utilize acrylic vacuum chambers in different phases of their manufacturing processes and product development.

Understanding different acrylic vacuum chamber applications can help industries ensure better quality and reliable final products.

Here are the most common typical applications:

  • Bubble leak testing or package integrity testing. With an acrylic vacuum chamber, you can detect and locate leaks through the emission of bubbles. Its transparency enables a full interior view during the testing process. 
  • Vacuum degassing. When mixing your components, gasses can become entrapped and dissolved in the mixture. Vacuum degassing involves removing these dissolved gasses by lowering pressure inside the vessel that contains the solution. Reduced pressure makes the gas less soluble. This is applicable in water treatment, soil purification procedures, and laboratory testing.
  • Vacuum drying. By using the acrylic vacuum chamber, you can dry your products effectively and in a controlled environment.
  • Vacuum impregnation. For years, the world’s largest manufacturers have continued using acrylic vacuum chambers to guarantee leak-proof, pressure-proof, and corrosion-proof components and parts in critical operations. 
  • Lab application, product testing, and research. The acrylic vacuum chamber is ideal for laboratory research applications and product testing that require 360-degree full visibility. 
  • Vacuum encapsulation. With the acrylic vacuum chamber, electrical components can be encapsulated in resin under vacuum. Encapsulating electronic components permanently protects your circuit secrets in a clear bubble-free resin. 
  • Altitude simulation. With the acrylic vacuum chambers, you can simulate elevation to an altitude of up to 250,000 feet. The higher the height, the lower the pressure. It is commonly used in aircraft to simulate pressures at various altitudes and atmospheric conditions when taking off or landing. 

Advantages of Acrylic Vacuum Chambers

  • It provides a clear view of your vacuum chamber. Acrylic vacuum chambers are transparent and offer full visibility of your samples during operations from all angles.
  • It is cost-effective and requires low maintenance. Did you know that vacuum chambers made from acrylic cost less when compared to aluminum or steel chambers? Furthermore, they are easy to operate and maintain. 
  •  It is flexible and organic. Acrylic vacuum chambers can mold and conform around your system over time. 
  • It has a broad range of applications. With most acrylic vacuum chambers, you can achieve a 99.9 % vacuum- hence you can use them in various applications, processes, and experiments. 
  • It’s highly customizable. Acrylic is easily machinable; hence the acrylic vacuum chambers can be customized according to your specifications and requirements.
  • It’s easily repairable. If your acrylic vacuum chamber gets destroyed, it can be easily repaired with the right glue. Unlike metallic vacuum chambers, you don’t require welding skills to repair them. 
  • Impact resistance and less dense than glass. Acrylic chambers are lighter than glass.

Disadvantages of Acrylic Vacuum Chambers

  • It operates in a narrow temperature range. With a melting point of 160 degrees Celsius and a glass transition temperature of 105 degrees Celsius, acrylic is unsuitable for high-temperature applications. 
  • It’s not chemically resistant. Constant exposure to benzene, alcohol, acetone, lactate, thinners, hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals can destroy the walls of the chamber. 
  • It’s brittle and can be easily scratched. Though acrylic is strong, it can crack under stress or scratch when sharp or coarse objects are used on it. 
  • It’s prone to electrostatic buildup. If rubbed the wrong way, acrylic vacuum chambers may lead to static electricity, which may damage electrons, create electrostatic noise or even ignite volatile gasses. 

What Should you Consider When Choosing Acrylic Vacuum Chambers?

Before getting an acrylic vacuum chamber, be sure to look out for the following.

  • Vacuum valve, gauge, and components. Does the chamber come with valves, gauges, and other required parts?
  • Dimensions of the internal chamber. Be sure to check the interior dimensions to ascertain if they meet your requirements. 
  • Vacuum rating. This should be the first thing to consider when purchasing an acrylic vacuum chamber. If the chamber is rated at levels below 1 Torr, you can be sure that it will offer you excellent service. 

The Bottom Line

For years acrylic vacuum chambers have been preferred over their metallic counterparts. 

Due to their various benefits, many global manufacturers use them to provide reliable, safe means of moving moisture-sensitive and contamination-sensitive materials and equipment. 

We hope this article was helpful in offering information about acrylic vacuum chambers. Have any questions? You can get in touch with us now!

If you are looking for clear acrylic vacuum chambers, you’ve come to the right place. We are an industry leader in providing quality acrylic vacuum chambers.

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