As an American manufacturer of vacuum chambers and their associated systems, Terra Universal offers an array of vacuum chamber designs for material testing, thermal testing, stress testing, degassing, atmospheric simulation, and more. In this series, we'll discuss smaller benchtop vacuum chambers for small parts, as well as large high-capacity vacuum chamber models for extra large assemblies or components. Additionally, we'll discuss configurable add-ons such as vacuum pumps, vacuum control modules, vacuum gloveboxes, and vacuum chamber material selection criteria. Whether it's a lab, cleanroom, or unspecified research environment, Terra offers thousands of ready-to-ship products, as well as custom-fabricated solutions for unique applications.

Vacuum Chambers for Atmospheric Simulation and Testing

Vacuum chambers are critical for conducting material stress testing, especially in contexts that require simulation of extreme environmental conditions like those in space or high-altitude scenarios. Testing validates the accuracy of mathematical models through comparisons between analytical predictions and empirical data. This testing is crucial for confirming hardware safety and functionality for components that will experience dramatic shifts in temperature and various atmospheric pressures.

Terra's Vacuum Chambers allow for several add-ons that support dynamic adjustment of pressure levels and vacuum conditions, which is crucial for precise, time-specific simulations of flight conditions. For example, in testing spacecraft components, it is necessary to simulate various flight stages, including the severe heat and pressure fluctuations experienced during exit and reentry, as well as sustained conditions at high altitudes. This capability ensures that components are tested under conditions that closely mimic those encountered during actual flight paths, enhancing the reliability and performance of aerospace equipment.

Altitude Testing: While primarily used to simulate high-altitude conditions, this method involves reducing the atmospheric pressure inside a vacuum chamber to levels equivalent to those found at high altitudes. It's used to test how materials and electronic components behave in low-pressure environments, such as in aircraft or high-altitude drones.

Space Simulation Testing: This comprehensive testing method uses vacuum chambers to simulate both the vacuum of space and other conditions like solar radiation, extreme temperatures, and micrometeoroid impacts. It's designed to ensure that spacecraft materials and systems can survive and function throughout their intended lifespan in space.

Vibration Testing in Vacuum: Some vacuum chambers are equipped to perform vibration testing in addition to creating a vacuum environment. This type of testing is used to simulate both the vacuum and the dynamic loads that materials and assemblies might experience during launch or operation in space.

Verification of Thermal Management Systems: Effective thermal management is vital in maintaining optimal operating temperatures for aerospace hardware. Heat cycling tests help in assessing the efficiency and responsiveness of these thermal control systems, ensuring they can manage the heat loads generated during mission-critical operations.

Stainless steel vacuum chambers support broader temperature ranges required for vacuum simulation and testing applications, which are deployed to detect flaws or deterioration that occurs when reproducing conditions found in the atmosphere, as well as the vacuum of space. Double wall insulated chambers minimize the effects of ambient temperature and variables caused by air leakage when testing aerospace-rated hardware and components.

Vacuum Control Modules for Simulated Stress Testing

In simulated stress testing applications, precise control over pressure levels within the vacuum chamber is essential for accurate and reliable results. Vacuum control modules interface with vacuum pumps and feature digital control panels, allowing researchers to monitor and adjust pressure levels with precision.

Terra's Vacuum Control Modules are designed to support various stress testing scenarios, including altitude simulation and thermal vacuum testing. Equipped with electric bleed valves, these modules enable automatic adjustments to pressure levels, ensuring consistent and repeatable testing conditions. Additionally, thermocouple gauges integrated into the system provide real-time monitoring of temperature fluctuations, further enhancing control and accuracy during stress testing procedures.

Terra’s eVAC™ Digital Vacuum Controller interfaces with an electric vacuum pump, and features a digital control panel, much like our Vacuum Control Module. However, an electric bleed valve is included in the system, which automatically releases room air into the chamber when triggered by a sensor. So, while the Vacuum Control Module allows pressure to be electronically increased, the eVac supports automatic increases and decreases in pressure to support simulation testing and advanced programming. This flexibility results in faster, hands-off set-point response time, allowing more tests with varying atmospheric conditions.

eVAC comes with a thermocouple gauge, which measures temperature fluctuations of the internal vacuum chamber. As pressure rises, so does the temperature. Fluctuations prompt the sensor to initiate pumping activity, controlled by a solenoid valve, or introduction of outside air, controlled by the bleed valve. The thermocouple gauge, with response time of less than three seconds, measures pressure in a range of 1 milliTorr to 760 Torr. Working in tandem, these components automatically maintain the chamber’s programmed pressure level, without intervention or oversight by lab personnel.

Need Help Configuring a Vacuum Chamber System?

As a manufacturer of vacuum chamber systems, Terra Universal offers a deep pool of factory expertise and end to end solutions with globally honored pricing and worldwide delivery.

Shop Terra Universal Online to browse a wide selection of vacuum chamber systems, accessories, and add-ons including chambers, vacuum pumps, vacuum feedthroughs, humidity control solutions, and nitrogen purge systems.

Contact us or request a quote for custom orders including atypical chamber sizes, gas purge solutions, vacuum pumps, feedthroughs, custom gauges, and other accessories.