Can I Use Aluminum for DIY Diffusion Pumps?

In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of making diffusion pumps from aluminum and the benefits of using them for UHV purposes. The speaker also mentions different types of oil used in diffusion pumps and suggests checking a reference book for their boiling temperatures. They also suggest buying a used or rebuilt diffusion pump from a reputable company or being cautious when purchasing one from eBay.
  • #1
Can I make diffusion pumps from aluminum?

I am going to create parallel connected diffusion pumps for many UHV purposes. I see that aluminum that is treated to prevent outgassing is used for UHV valves, chambers, and reactors.

I'd like to know what temperature diffusion pumps boil their silicon oil at because I would love to make these pumps from aluminum. Diffusion pumps are superior in every way when it comes to low cost DIY. There are even DIY diffusion pumps made from stainless steel cups that are poorly designed (shooting vapor straightdown instead of onto cooled walls) on that have achieved 0.022 millitorr. Because these can be combined in series or parallel, their strength does not matter.
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  • #2
You may have better luck buying a used/rebuilt diffusion pump, rather than building one yourself.

Duniway Stockroom is a reputable company for al kinds of vacuum hardware, including rebuilt pumps:

You can probably find old diffusion pumps on e-bay, as well, but I would be cautious, as you do not know what materials went through them.

The boiler temperature varies, depending upon the kind of oil being used. Check O'Hanlon, p. 228 for a table of T_boiler of some common types of diff. pump fluid. (ranges from 135 C [butyl phthalate] to 275 C [Santovac 5] )

What is an aluminum diffusion pump?

An aluminum diffusion pump is a type of vacuum pump that uses aluminum as the primary material for creating a high vacuum. It works by heating a vapor of the pump fluid, typically a silicone or mineral oil, which then creates a high-speed jet that pulls gas molecules from the chamber into the pump.

How does an aluminum diffusion pump work?

An aluminum diffusion pump works by heating a vapor of the pump fluid, typically a silicone or mineral oil, which then creates a high-speed jet that pulls gas molecules from the chamber into the pump. The gas is then condensed and collected in a cooler region of the pump, creating a high vacuum in the chamber.

What are the advantages of using an aluminum diffusion pump?

There are several advantages to using an aluminum diffusion pump. These include its ability to achieve a high vacuum, its low cost compared to other types of vacuum pumps, and its simplicity and ease of use. Aluminum diffusion pumps also have no moving parts, making them reliable and durable.

What are the limitations of an aluminum diffusion pump?

One limitation of an aluminum diffusion pump is its inability to pump large volumes of gas. It is better suited for smaller, high vacuum applications. Additionally, the pump fluid can become contaminated over time, leading to a decrease in pumping efficiency.

How do I maintain an aluminum diffusion pump?

Maintaining an aluminum diffusion pump involves regular cleaning and changing of the pump fluid. It is important to clean the pump regularly to prevent buildup of contaminants, which can decrease pumping efficiency. It is also recommended to replace the pump fluid every 6-12 months to maintain optimal performance.

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