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PVS16

PVS16

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07/02/2010

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Development of Vacuum Brazing Furnace
Rajvir Singh, Kamlesh Yedle, A.K. JainAccelerator Component Engineering & Fabrication DivisionCentre for Advanced Technology, IndoreE-mail :rvsingh@cat.ernet.in 
AbstractIn joining of components where welding process is not possiblebrazing processes are employed. Value added components,high quality RF systems, UHV components of high energyaccelerators, carbide tools etc. are produced using differenttypes of brazing methods. Furnace brazing under vacuumatmosphere is the most popular and well accepted method forproduction of the above mentioned components and systems.For carrying out vacuum brazing successfully it is essential tohave a vacuum brazing furnace with latest features of modernvacuum brazing technology. A vacuum brazing furnace hasbeen developed and installed for carrying out brazing of components of copper, stainless steel and components made of dissimilar metals/materials. The above furnace has beendesigned to accommodate jobs of 700mm diameter x 2000mmlong sizes with job weight of 500kgs up to a maximumtemperature of 1250
o
C at a vacuum of 5x10
-
5 Torr. Oildiffusion pumping system with a combination of rotary andmechanical booster pump have been employed for obtainingvacuum. Molybdenum heating elements, radiation shield of molybdenum and Stainless Steel Grade 304 have been used.The above furnace is computer controlled with manual override facility. PLC and Pentium PC are integrated together tomaneuver steps of operation and safety interlocks of thesystem. Closed loop water supply provides cooling to thesystem. The installation of the above system is in final stage of completion and it will be ready for use in next few monthstime. This paper presents insights of design and fabrication of a modern vacuum brazing furnace and its sub-system
..
 
 Keyword: ultra high vacuum; RF; particle accelerators;SCADA.
1. INTRODUCTIONComplex assemblies, components of copper, aluminum,dissimilar metals, components of metal-to-nonmetals etc.are difficult to join by welding methods or even byconventional methods of brazing. High value components,RF systems, ultra high vacuum (UHV) components and sub-assemblies of particle accelerators are mostly made of copper, stainless steels, dissimilar metal combinations of copper-stainless steels, copper-ceramics etc. Copper andaluminum metals and their alloys possess high values of thermal conductivity and are difficult to weld or brazemanually. Dissimilar Metals have different melting pointsand different coefficient of thermal expansions due to whichcomponents of these are also difficult to join by usingconventional methods. Metal-to-nonmetal joints are difficultto produce using above methods[1]. The joints in-accessibleto the welding or brazing torch can not be made by anymethod of welding and brazing except by furnace brazing.The furnace brazing in open air again does not providequality joints. The furnace brazing under hydrogenatmosphere may be used efficiently for copper components.Furnace brazing environment of gases other than argon isnot suitable for quality braze joints. For the abovementioned reasons high value systems are stronglyrecommended to join using furnace brazing under vacuumatmosphere for producing quality joints[2]. The vacuumfurnace brazing has several advantages over weldingmethods and other methods of brazing [3]. A universal typeof vacuum brazing furnace has been designed anddeveloped for producing high quality joints of the abovementioned assemblies and systems, Figure1.2. SPECIFICATIONS OF THE VACUUMBRAZING FURNACEThe vacuum brazing furnace designed anddeveloped has following details and specifications:Size of the main chamber - 1360mm IDx 3700mm longMaximum operating temp. - 1250
o
CNormal Operating temp - 500
o
C to 1200
o
CUltimate Vacuum - 5x10
-6
Torr.Operating Vacuum - 5x10
-5
Torr.
Figure 1 Vacuum Brazing Furnace
 
Pump down Time - 5x10
-3
Torr. in 45min & 5x10
-5
Torrin 90 minutesFurnace chamber cooling - Cooling waterthrough guidedbafflesClear hot zone size - 700mmdia.x2000mm lengthCharge weight - 500 kilogramsJob loading - Vertical frombottom sideTemperature uniformity - ± 5
0
C in theentire hot zoneHot zone cooling / - Natural and forcedquenching by nitrogen/argongases at variablerates with max. of 25
o
C per min3. FEATURES OF THE VACUUM BRAZINGFURNACEThe vacuum furnace is designed to accommodate jobs of bigger sizes which is our main requirement.The components of copper, stainless steels and theircombinations and other dissimilar metals, metals-to-nonmetals will be brazed in clean conditions and without using any fluxes. Clean components are receivedafter brazing and no post-braze cleaning will berequired. The brazed components may be used in
 as- brazed 
condition. The furnace operation is totallyautomatic and computer controlled with manual override facility. The hotbox has been assembled in veryclean and confined conditions so as to maintaincleanliness inside the vacuum chamber. The closedloop cooling water supply to the furnace enables tooperate the furnace at the required rate of heatingwhile gas purging facility will allow to cool thecomponents being brazed at the set or desired rate of cooling.4. MAIN VACUUM CHAMBERIt is a water cooled double walled cylindricalchamber having vertical configuration. Both the ends aredemountable type with job loading from bottom side. Thechamber assembly and demountable dished end doors aremade of SA 240 304L Grade stainless steel. Wall thicknessof main vacuum chamber has been designed for 12mm andthat of the jacket for 6mm. The same wall thicknesses havebeen taken for dished ends with extra forming allowances.The size of vacuum chamber is 1360mm ID x 3700mmlong. Guided baffles are provided in between main chamberand the jacket for cooling water circulation. Different sizesof 34 ports are provided for pumping system, heater feed-throuhgs, thermocouples, vacuum gauges etc with an extraport of 500mm. ASME Pressure Vessel Code Section VIII,Div. 1 and Pressure Vessel Code for Unfired PressureVessels IS:2825-1969 have been followed in design,fabrication and testing of vacuum brazing chamberassembly. Welding has been carried out as per ASME CodeSection IX and GTAW process of welding has beenfollowed. A special joint has been designed for joining of end flanges to the chamber and dished end doors. The mainvacuum chamber is designed for an external pressure of 3.5kg per cm
2
and the jacket for internal pressure of 2.5 kg percm
2
. For vacuum sealing `O’ ring grooves of suitable sizeshave been provided on flanges of the various ports of thechamber. The surfaces exposed to vacuum have beensmooth buffed with no marks of tools, dents, scratches etc.The surface finish of `O’ ring grooves is better than 1.6microns. The bottom dish end supports the chargehearth/job plate for mounting the jobs while the top one acanned motor with a gas blower. It is required for forcedcooling or quenching of the jobs. Closed loop cooling watersupply is provided to the chamber and the dish ends.5. HOTBOX DETAILSThe hotbox is a cage of cylindrical shape with both theends open. Its size is 1000mm diameter x 3700mm long.The hotbox has been designed to accommodate jobs of sizeof 700mm dia. x 2000mm long with job weight of 500kgsincluding the fixtures. Hot box is divided into three parts. Itconsists of molybdenum strips heating elements, sixradiation shields etc. First three radiation shields are of molybdenum and remaining three of stainless steel. Heatingelements are designed to provide a maximum power of 240kwatts. First radiation shield of molybdenum facing theextreme temperatures is of 0.5mm thickness and remainingtwo of 0.25mm thicknesses. Stainless Steel radiationshields of 0.3mm thicknesses are taken in the design of thehotbox. High purity alumina ceramic with zero porosity aretaken for thermal and electrical insulation in the hotbox. Thecharge hearth fabricated of molybdenum rods and plates isprovided for loading the jobs. It is supported on bottom dishend door of the furnace above the radiation shields andheating elements. Eighteen nos. of heating elements areprovided all along the length of the hotbox with no heatingelements at open ends. Heat loss from the ends of thehotbox is prevented by providing radiation shields at the topand bottom ends of the vacuum chamber, Figure 2. Themaximum operating temperature of the hot box will be1250
o
C at vacuum of 5x10
-5
Torr.Figure 2 Sectional view of vacuumchamber & hotbox assembly
 
 6. VACUUM PUMPING SYSTEMThe pumping system consists of a double stage rotaryvacuum pump, mechanical booster pump and 500mm oildiffusion pump and a holding vacuum pump. Pumpingspeeds of rotary vacuum pump, mechanical booster pump,holding pump and oil diffusion pump are 175M
3
per hour,505M
3
per hour, 350 lists per min and 12000 lists per sec.respectively. The system is capable of creating a vacuumbetter than 5x10
-6
Torr in 90 minutes in cold conditions.Rough vacuum of a level of 5x10
-3
is obtained in thevacuum chamber in 45 minutes using rotary and mechanicalbooster pump combination. The system is designed tooperate at vacuum of 5x10
-5
Torr. during operation of thefurnace. Freon cooled 500mm chevron baffle is connectedin between diffusion pump and the angle valve to preventback streaming. Electro pneumatically operated (EPO)500mm right angle high vacuum valve is connected inbetween the vacuum chamber and the chevron baffle.Electro pneumatically operated 3-inch gate valves one eachfor roughing and backing are provided in vacuum pipe line.1-inch EPO air admittance valve is provided near the rotaryvacuum pump. Gas purging valves are provided for gaspurging into the chamber. A vent valve is also provided atthe vacuum chamber for venting off air into the chamber.Pirani and Penning gauges two nos. each are used formeasurement and control of the vacuum of the system.Figure 3 and 4 .7. INSTRUMENTATION ANDCONTROL SYSTEMThe vacuum brazing furnace is designed to operate inautomatic mode. Vacuum and temperature cycles areoperated using auto/manual vacuum controller andprogrammable logic controller (PLC). The auto/manualcontroller is a mimic diagram with manually operated pushbutton switches having indication lamps for manual override facility. Selector switches for auto / manual/ standbymodes are provided with all the utility failure indicationsand alarms. This PLC is further interfaced to PC through aSupervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA)software for remote operation of the system. It is also usedfor data acquisition of the process parameters. The PLC isalso used for providing interlocks of the system for safeoperation of the furnace Figure 5.
Figure 5 Schematic diagram of Heating CycleFigure 4 vacuum pumping of systemFigure 3 Schematic diagram of vacuum pumping system1.VACUUM CHAMBER2. PIRANI SENSOR3. PENINING SENSOR4. VACUUM VALVE (EPO)5. CHEVRON BAFFLE6. OIL DIFFUSOIN PUMP7. BACKING VALVE8. HOLDING VALVE9. HOLDING PUMP10. ROUGHING VALVE11. MECH BOOSTER PUMP12. ROTARY VACUUM PUMP13. PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE14. VENT VALVE15. SOLENOID VALVE16. PRESSURE REGULATOR17. BALL VALVE18. PRESSURE GAUGE19. PERSSURE SWITCH20 GAS MANIFOLD

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