The baking of the PZT subassemblies was more complicated than we initially thought.
The four PZT subassemblies were placed in the air bake oven A. We meant to bake the assemblies with the ramp time of 2.5h, a plateau of 2h at 94degC, and slow ramp down.
The oven controller was started and the temperature has been monitored. The ramping up was ~20% faster than expected (0.57degC/min instead of 0.47degC/min), but at least it was linear and steady.
Once the temperature reached the set temperature (around t=120min), the temperature started oscillating between 74 and 94degC. Stephen's interpretation was that the PID loop of the controller was not on and the controller falled into the dead-bang mode (=sort of bang-bang control).
As the assembly was already exposed to T>70F for more than 2.5hours, it was expected the epoxy cure was done. Our concern was mainly the fast temperature change and associated stress due to thermal expansion, which may cause delamination of the joint. To increase the heat capacity of the load, we decided to introduce more components (suspension balance weights). We also decided to cover the oven with an insulator so that the conductive heat loss was reduced.
However, the controller thought it was already the end of the baking process and turned to stand-by mode (i.e. turned off everything). This started to cause rapid temp drop. So I (Koji) decided to give a manual heat control for mind cooling. When the controller is turned off and on, it gives some heat for ramping up. So the number of heat pulses and the intervals were manually controlled to give the temp drop of ~0.5degC/min. Around t=325, the temperature decay was already slower than 0.5degC/min without heat pulse, so I decided to leave the lab.
We will check the condition of the sub-assemblies tomorrow (Fri) afternoon.