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Message ID: 1251     Entry time: Thu Jan 20 20:13:07 2011
Author: Alastair 
Type: Laser 
Category: GYRO 
Subject: Vacuum parts 

We're still waiting for 3 of the flanges to come back from the machine shop.  I went down today and they think we may have another 2 back tomorrow late in the day.  

I started putting the vacuum parts we have together yesterday and did some more today.  I'm not very impressed with the company in question to be honest (since this website is open to public view, they shall remain anonymous here).  A lot of parts were dirty, badly packed, badly made.  Comments in full below:

  • Main chambers were badly packed.  While all the other flanges were properly protected, the main conflat flange on the bottom was packed directly against a piece of cardboard - not exactly the cleanest way to package UHV flanges.
  • I've only opened one of the flexi-hoses, but when I was wiping the mating surface with a clean-cloth, I found the inside of the pipe to be dirty.  This is despite both ends having proper caps, and it being packaged in a plastic wrapper.  I've no idea how you're supposed to clean inside one of these.
  • Two of the view ports have marks on the CF knife-edge.  I have attached a couple of pictures of these below (there are more marks than just the ones shown, but these are the worst).  I don't know if they are bad enough to affect the vacuum since we are not aiming for ultra high vacuum.  Because of this I have put them on just now.
  • The inside and outside of the viewports were very dusty - definitely not as clean as a CF part should be.
  • Two of the rubber KF gaskets for the top flanges are loose.  The outer part actually falls off the rubber inner part because it's not as tight as it should be.
  • Even the screws we bought aren't very good.  A couple of threads wouldn't work and one of the washers is missing part of the edge.  I know this is a kind of minor point, but it shows the lack of quality across all their parts.  If you were using these screws with a torque wrench to get the correct tightness on the flange then I expect it would not be at all accurate (which is usually the main reason for buying screw kits from the vacuum companies).

In short, they might be the cheapest company, but they are certainly not the best.

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