[ Dennis Coyne' precision answer ]
Differential Height between Isolators
According to a note on the bellows drawing (D990577-x0/A), the design life of the bellows at ± 20 minutes rotational stroke is 10,000 cycles. A 20 minute angular (torsional) rotation of the bellows corresponds to 0.186" differential height change across the 32" span between the chamber support beams (see isolator bracket, D000187-x0/B).
Another consideration regarding the bellows is the lateral shear stress introduced by the vertical translation. The notes on the bellows drawing do not give lateral shear limits. According to MDC's web page for formed bellows in this size range the lateral deflection limit is approximately 10% of the "live length" (aka "active length", or length of the convoluted section). According to the bellows drawing the active length is 3.5", so the maximum allowable lateral deflection should be ~0.35".
Of course when imposing a differential height change both torsional and lateral shear is introduced at the same time. Considering both limits together, the maximum differential height change should be < 0.12".
One final consideration is the initial stress to which the bellows are currently subjected due to a non-centered support beam from tolerances in the assembly and initial installation. Although we do not know this de-centering, we can guess that it may be of the order of ~ 0.04". So the final allowable differential height adjustment from the perspective of bellows stress is < 0.08". Steve: accumulated initial stress is unknown. We used to adjust the original jack screws for IFO aligment in the early days of ~1999. This kind of adjustment was stopped when we realized how dangereous it can be. The fact is that there must be unknown amount of accumulated initial stress. This is my main worry but I'm confident that 0.020" change is safe.
So, with regard to bellows stress alone, your procedure to limit the differential height change to <0.020" is safe and prudent.
However, a more stringent consideration is the coplanarity requirement (TMC Stacis 2000 User's Manual, Doc. No. SERV 04-98-1, May 6, 1991, Rev. 1), section 2, "Installation",which stipulates < 0.010"/ft, or < 0.027" differential height across the 32" span between the chamber support beams. Again, your procedure to limit the differential height change to < 0.02" is safe.
Centered Load on the STACIS Isolators
According to the TMC Stacis 2000 User's Manual (Document No. SERV 04-98-1, May 6, 1991, Rev. 1), section 2, "Installation", typical installations (Figure 2-3) are with one payload interface plate which spans the entire set of 3 or 4 STACIS actuators. Our payload interface is unique.
Section 2.3.1, "Installation Steps": "5. Verify that the top of each isolator is fully under the payload/interface plate; this is essential to ensure proper support and leveling. The payload or interface plate should cover the entire top surface of the Isolator or the entire contact area of the optional jack."
section 2.3.2, "Payload/STACIS Interface": "... or if the supporting points do not completely cover the top surface of each Isolator, an interface plate will be needed."
The sketch in Figure 2-2 indicates an optional leveling jack which appears to have a larger contact surface area than the jacks currently installed in the 40m Lab. Of course this is just a non-dimensioned sketch. Are the jacks used by the 40m Lab provided by TMC, or did we (LIGO) choose them? I beleive Larry Jones purchased them.
A load centering requirement is not explicitly stated, but I think the stipulation to cover the entire top surface of each actuator is not so much to reduce the contact stress but to entire a centered load so that the PZT stack does not have a reaction moment.
From one of the photos in the 40m elog entry (specifically jack_screw.jpg), it appears that at least some isolators have the load off center. You should use this measurement of the load as an opportunity to re-center the loads on the Isolators.
In section 2.3.3, "Earthquake Restraints" restraints are suggested to prevent damage from earth tremors. Does the 40m Lab have EQ restraints? Yes, it has
Screw Jack Location
I could not tell where all of the screw jacks will be placed from the sketch included in the 40m elog entry which outlines the proposed procedure.
Load Cell Locations
The sketch indicates that the load cells will be placed on the center of the tops of the Isolators. This is good. However while discussing the procedure with Gautam he said that he was under the impression that the load cell woudl be placed next to the leveling jack, off-center. This condition may damage the PZT stack. I suggest that the leveling jack be removed and replaced (temporarily) with the load cell, plus any spacer required to make up the height difference. Yes
If you have any further question, just let me know.
Chief Engineer, LIGO Laboratory
California Institute of Technology
MC 100-36, 1200 E. California Blvd.