Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum gained an order for the manufacturing of a batch of cryogenic vacuum pumps of the series COOLVAC 60.000 for the evacuation of space simulation chambers.
These pumps, with a flange diameter of 1.3m and a pumping rate of 60,000 litres per second for nitrogen, are being manufactured presently at the Dresden site of Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum. Cryo pumps are used wherever very large vacuum chambers need to be evacuated very rapidly to extremely low pressures, offering high pumping rates and an attainable vacuum of down to 10-12 mbar. The major field of application for the pump is the aerospace industry, where rocket elements, satellites, space shuttles or space station parts need to be examined in giant simulation chambers.
There, simulations can be run in tests for vacuum tightness, for example, or for resistance to the extremes in the cosmos between low temperatures of a few Kelvin (approx. −270 °C) in the shade and direct solar radiation. Major customers for these cryo pumps are those nations with a strong aerospace programme such as the USA, China, India and above all the European States with the European Space Agency ESA.
The COOLVAC series of cryo pumps are gas-binding vacuum pumps for the high vacuum pressure range of 10-3 mbar to 10-11 mbar. These pumps work on the principle that gaseous substances become bound to cold surfaces inside the pump by cryogenic condensation, cryo sorption or cryo trapping. To produce a high or ultra-high vacuum, all cold surfaces must be cooled to a sufficiently low temperature. Depending on the type of cooling system used, a distinction is made between refrigerator cryo pumps, bath cryo pumps and evaporator cryo pumps. Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum manufactures exclusively refrigerator-cooled cryo pumps.
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